- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 5, 2009


“Sorry, Charles. Didn’t mean to spoil your prediction. It happens.” — Gilbert Arenas on TNT after the Wizards beat Cleveland, responding to Charles Barkley’s halftime analysis


The Jay Cutler saga is the gift that keeps on giving, all the way through the 2009 NFL season.

From the first day of training camp, fans everywhere will closely monitor the formerly disgruntled and disenchanted quarterback as he embarks upon his new, presumably happy journey walking in Chicago sunshine, gruntled and enchanted. This could be quite an autumn in Chicago with Cutler and the Bears piling up points and the Cubs ending their 100-year drought. Or not. It will be interesting either way.

Here in Redskins land, we’ll have one eye on quarterback Jason Campbell and the other on Cutler. We will compare, contrast and, at some point, complain. Their numbers will be held up to the light and analyzed like a scientist squinting at a pair of test tubes. And just wait until the highlights show Cutler zipping a winning touchdown pass between three defenders, followed by Campbell throwing a game-changing interception. A double dose of misery.

I’m hoping Campbell outplays Cutler, for reasons unrelated to cheering for the Redskins (which I don’t). Mainly it’s that Campbell is a good guy, a class act. He has worked hard and has said and done the right things. And he can play. Cutler, by all accounts, seems to be something of a jerk. Let’s see nice guys win. And let’s show Vinny Cerrato and Dan Snyder, once and for all, that character, hard work and team chemistry mean something more substantial than a big arm or a big reputation.

TWT Five: Trades involving NFL quarterbacks

1. Bobby Layne, 1950 — Traded to Detroit by the New York Bulldogs of the All-America Conference for NFL receiving leader Bob Mann. The Lions win three titles in five years.

2. Norm Van Brocklin, 1958 — Los Angeles Rams send the Dutchman to Philadelphia for two players and a draft pick. Within three seasons, the Eagles are NFL champs.

3. Sonny Jurgensen, 1964 — Redskins fans are forever grateful that the Eagles sent a future Hall of Famer to the District for journeyman Norm Snead.

4. Fran Tarkenton, 1972 — Returns to Minnesota for a few players and draft picks. The Vikings go to three Super Bowls in four years.

5. John Elway, 1983 — Forces trade by Baltimore for tackle Chris Hinton, quarterback Mark Herrmann and a first-round pick. Denver gets a legend and ultimately two Super Bowl titles.

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