Posted Mon Mar 16th by Monty
Although the rift with Cutler is the issue that has drawn the most public attention, I’ve spoken to several Broncos players who believe that McDaniels sabotaged his credibility in the locker room when he cut long-snapper Mike Leach and signed former Patriots long-snapper Lonnie Paxton to a $2 million contract.
Leach has proven to be among the most reliable snappers in the NFL, and replacing him seemed completely unnecessary and out of step with the message that a new coach should be sending to his team.
The players who were drafted or signed by the previous coach want to believe that the new coach will judge them based on their ability to perform on the field. But when McDaniels got rid of Leach it sent a very clear message that no matter how well the veterans performed, the new coach would cut them and pay more money to get players with whom he was more familiar.
There’s an eerie parallel between the Leech-Paxton situation and the Cutler-Cassel fiasco. In both cases, our new coach was willing to move a talented player at a position that didn’t need to be addressed just to get a player with whom he was more familiar. Would you play for a coach like that?