We’re in the dog days of the offseason and that means lots of filler content not just here but with the mainstream media as well. Filler content means a lot of meaningless lists and rankings just to try to spur some debate and discussion. The latest list of quarterback rankings that I saw from Will Brinson at CBS Sports really kicked up a burr under my saddle.
Brinson ranks NFL quarterbacks and puts Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler 19th on his list, meaning he thinks there are 18 quarterbacks better than Cutler. I think that ranking is absolutely ridiculous. Let’s look at the list and see where he went astray.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
2. Tom Brady, Patriots
3. Peyton Manning, Broncos
4. Drew Brees, Saints
The next group
5. Eli Manning, Giants
6. Matt Ryan, Falcons
7. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
8. Tony Romo, Cowboys
9. Joe Flacco, Ravens
Ready for a leap?
10. Cam Newton, Panthers
11. Matthew Stafford, Lions
12. Russell Wilson, Seahawks
13. Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
14. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers
15. Robert Griffin III, Redskins
16. Philip Rivers, Chargers
17. Josh Freeman, Buccaneers
18. Sam Bradford, Rams
19. Jay Cutler, Bears
20. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
21. Michael Vick, Eagles
22. Alex Smith, Chiefs
23. Matt Schaub, Texans
Put up or shut up
23. Andy Dalton, Bengals
24. Christian Ponder, Vikings
25. Jake Locker, Titans
26. Carson Palmer, Cardinals
27. Brandon Weeden, Browns
28. Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars
30. Geno Smith or Mark Sanchez, Jets
31. Matt Flynn or Tyler Wilson, Raiders
32. EJ Manuel or Kevin Kolb, Bills
I have no problem with the top four on the list. They’re probably first ballot Hall of Famers and certainly the class of the class. They are Elite indeed.
The next tier is where things start to go sideways for me. It’s hard to argue with Eli and Big Ben; they have multiple rings each to back up the ranking, so I’ll allow they atop the rankings. Where things start to go off the rails for me is Matt Ryan as high as he is. I’m not saying that Ryan isn’t a good quarterback because he is. But what has he won? He’s won exactly one playoff game in his career.
But where the list really loses all credibility is ranking Tony Romo as the #8 quarterback. Brinson knows this list isn’t a ranking of most overrated or overpaid, right? Ranking Romo that high is a complete joke.
The next pair of quarterbacks, the “ready for the leap” group – Cam Newton and Matthew Stafford – can put up some monster fantasy numbers, but are they more talented than Cutler? Wouldn’t you consider Cutler in this “ready for the leap” guys?
Instead, they put the four first year starters, including Wilson, Luck, Kaepernick and RGIII, guys who have only been under the gun for one season, ahead of Cutler. I’d like to see them do it for more than one year before I put them ahead of Cutler.
To add insult to injury, CBS puts his rival Phillip Rivers atop the “In Limbo” group along with Josh freaking Freeman and Sam Bradford, all ahead of Cutler. Here’s what they finally said about Cutler:
Some will probably argue that Cutler should be higher, and maybe he will be after Marc Trestman actually allows him to sling the ball. For a long time, Cutler’s been hampered by playing under a defense-first organization that liked to focus on the run. He’s also got an offensive line that won’t do its best running-of-the-bulls imitation in 2013.
It’s true that Cutler has played for a defense first team under Lovie Smith, but to say they’ve focused on the run at last couple of seasons is flat wrong.
I would put him about #12 on the list, wedged in the “Ready for a Leap” category. I’d probably shuffle the rankings ahead of him a bit, but realistically I see him comfortably in the top half of the rankings.
So, here’s the million dollar question – where would YOU rank Jay Cutler? Post your rankings and defend your choice in the Comments.