Did the Pro Bowl snub Jay Cutler?


This weekend is the Pro Bowl, an all-star game that was supposed to highlight those players that excelled during the season. The funny thing is, Jay Cutler, the 10th ranked QB by Football Outsiders is not there. Each day we see Quarterbacks that had earned the right to be there drop out. We as fans would expect to see the next top performer in line be the replacement. Not this season, the NFL has made it clear, performance matters little, it’s all about marketing the future.

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Initially, I was incensed by Jay being ignored for the likes of Terry Bridgewater, Derek Carr, Tyrod Taylor (really?) and Eli Manning. I get the Manning thing, his brother is in the Super Bowl so the NFL had to pay tribute to the Manning Dynasty somehow. But when Jameis Winston got the nod, that really sent me over the edge. I could argue until I am blue in the face why Cutler should be there. I could even take the high road and say, what about Brees, Cousins etc. I shook my head in disgust, and wrote it off to another NFL dislike for Jay Cutler. I mean it is obvious their disdain for Jay, every article they have swipes at him. Then leave it to the likes of Gannon, Dilfer and Young to get into the mix and its easy to see Jay never had a chance.

Once I calmed down, I took a longer look at the NFL motives and it became obvious what they are doing. The Pro Bowl is not an all-star game of top players of the NFL, but a marketing tool to enhance the brand. Other than Eli Manning, each QB that has been invited as a replacement are the leagues “supposed” future stars. Think on it. Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Big Ben are all on the backside of their careers. The NFL has to continue the momentum for the QB position that builds the marquee for the brand.

When I looked at it that way, it all made sense. The league is signalling that it sees Derek Carr, Terry Bridgewater, Tyrod Taylor and Jameis Winston as there future. I should not forget Russell Wilson is in the game from the beginning and is too a future star (if not already). So was Cutler snubbed? No, probably not. Would he had a chance all things being equal? Probably not, the NFL would have difficulty eating crow on national TV if Jay Cutler was there.

In the end, the Pro Bowl is a marketing tool for the league, the game, players and outcome have little bearing on it. The sad thing is the NFL doesn’t think we can’t see through the charade they have created.