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SOURCE: COOK WANTS NEW CONTRACT FOR CUTLER

With none of the top quarterbacks in the draft pool picking him to be their agent, Bus Cook had to find a way to get his name into the NFL conversation in the weeks leading up to the 2009 version of the rookie selection process. What better way to do it than to demonstrate his power and influence to the quarterback class of 2010 by forcing a trade of Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler? Dan Patrick said on the Monday edition of his show that Cook recently responded to a report from Peter King that Cutler had asked for a trade before the possibility of trading Cutler ever arose with the time-honored non-denial denial: “Not that I know of.” We’re now convinced that Cook is the primary instigator of Cutler’s discontent -- and also the primary impediment to a meaningful coach-player meeting that could resolve the situation and keep Cutler around. King told Patrick on Monday that coach Josh McDaniels still wants to have a one-on-one meeting with Cutler. In other words, McDaniels wants to be able to talk to Cutler without Cook sticking his nose into the discussion, saying and doing things that will prevent Cutler’s currently stubborn resolve from weakening. Indeed, a league source tells us that Cook’s idea for solving the current impasse was -- what else? -- a fat new contract for Cutler. If the Broncos aren’t willing to give Cutler a new deal, then Cook and Cutler want to be traded. Cook is a West Virginia native, so we’d ordinarily be inclined to give him the Pat White treatment. In this case, we can’t. Cook has been at the center of too many unnecessary controversies, and he has failed to use his tremendous influence over his clients to persuade them to find a way to make things work. Instead, Cook has thrived of late on destroying existing relationships, for no apparent strategic reason other than to get his name in the paper. That said, it’s not too late for the Broncos to take control of the situation. As pointed out in our latest SportingNews.com item, the Bengals did it last year with Chad Johnson, and the Cardinals did it last year (and might do it again this year) with Anquan Boldin. When a player is under contract for three more seasons, the team (not the player) has the power to determine whether the player will be traded or released before those three years expire.