Redskins Still in Pursuit of Cutler

Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, April 2, 2009; 12:07 PM

The Washington Redskins' pursuit of Jay Cutler continued today, with the Denver Broncos reportedly informing teams they want at least two first-round draft picks for the disgruntled quarterback.

Cutler, who requested a trade on March 16, expressed surprise that Denver had moved so quickly to meet his demand and indicated he was having second thoughts about leaving the Broncos.

"I was surprised they decided to trade me this soon," Cutler, 25, told FoxSports Wednesday night. "I didn't want to get traded. That wasn't me. They had been going back and forth saying things, wanting me to be their quarterback, and then they didn't. I really didn't want this. I love Denver. I really like my teammates. I didn't want it to get this far."

One NFL source said the Redskins were trying to complete the deal as quickly as possible, although at least two other teams, the New York Jets and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, were also reportedly interested in acquiring Cutler. An official with an NFL team that has been in touch with Denver said the Broncos told his club they would want at least two first-round draft picks for the two-year starter, confirming a report by ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

The Redskins have declined to comment on the reports.

The NFL source said Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder has been pushing for the trade in an attempt to solve the team's decades-long pursuit of a franchise quarterback.

Another NFL source said a high-ranking Redskins official contacted one NFL team Wednesday about the possibility of trading quarterback Jason Campbell for a second-round pick in the upcoming draft. That source said he interpreted the Redskins' overture as an attempt by Washington to put together a package to acquire Cutler.

Redskins spokesman Zack Bolno denied the team had inquired about dealing Campbell.

Redskins officials have repeatedly publicly denied interest in Cutler. Vinny Cerrato, Washington's executive vice president of football operations, said March 17 that the team was not pursuing Cutler, and Coach Jim Zorn dismissed the notion while meeting with reporters last week at the NFL owners' meetings in Dana Point, Calif.

If the Redskins fail to acquire Cutler, they risk alienating Campbell, who has been the starter the past two seasons. Campbell said Wednesday that he wants to stay in Washington.

"I want to be here. I feel like there's a lot I want to accomplish and that's what I've been working to do, but you know it's not in your control," Campbell said. "All I can do is just keep doing what I'm doing, working hard and waiting to see what happens."

Campbell was among the main targets of frustrated fans, who questioned his intelligence and leadership skills on Internet message boards and sports-talk radio, during the team's 2-6 collapse after a 6-2 start to last season. The offensive line struggled in pass protection, and the receiving corps did not produce as Snyder and Cerrato hoped, but "everyone always want to blame the quarterback," Campbell said yesterday. "I know I'm improving, I'm working to get better every day, but some people are . . . you just know that's the way it is."

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