Seriously, We’re Just Fine With Campbell

So long as Denver is dangling Jay Cutler, Washington rumors will abound. Whether or not there’s anything to them, well, that’s just how it’s gonna be.  And it’s too bad, because he’s not much better than Jason Campbell.

If you were to ask, for example, the Jets’ GM, “Who would you rather have: Cutler or Campbell?” He’d say “Cutler” every time. But Vinny and Danny are in a different situation, with two major considerations: 1) Campbell has four years with the Skins and a year with Zorn under his belt. 2) The Skins would have to give up Campbell plus some to get Cutler.

But back to the lede: Is Cutler better than Campbell? Yeah, sure, but not by much. Strip away counting stats (touchdowns, yards, etc.) and look at their first three seasons (Cutler has 37 starts, Campbell 36).

First up, Cutler:

campbell-vs-cutler-1.jpg

And here’s Campbell:

campbell-vs-cutler-3.jpg

Let’s see … Campbell is one year older, and Cutler has a better QB rating, completion percentage and yards/attempt. But the touchdown/interception ratios and winning percentages are virtually identical. Plus, there’s one more thing: Campbell is improving, Cutler is stagnating.

Now, I’m no expert on Jay Cutler — or anything else, really — but the numbers are plain as day. These two aren’t far apart, and taking trends into account, there’s even less separation. Consider those two items from the second paragraph as well, and I’m not sure what the hubbub is about.

Would be nice if it simmered down though.

Update: MJD gauges Washington’s interest and gets to the heart of it:

I just wouldn’t have pegged the Redskins as a team that would’ve been unhappy with their quarterback situation.

That’s exactly what it took me 250 words and a spreadsheet to say.

Update No. 2: Chris’s Cutler flowchart is spot-on. Absolutely priceless.

Update No. 3: The Skins are “actively pursuing” Cutler. Of course they are.

Update No. 4:
Pro Football Reference ranks quarterbacks as commodities. With Cutler “you build your team around” him, and with Campbell “you like what you’ve got.” Seems about right.

27 thoughts on “Seriously, We’re Just Fine With Campbell”

  1. I think this is being stirred up because Campbell + the 13th pick is exactly the sort of package Denver wants for Cutler. And — warning: understatement — the Skins have been known to make a bad deal or two, especially w/ their draft picks.

  2. Plus Cutler is a cry baby… we need a man for our QB. Give Jason 1 more year plus I really think the skins are handling this well. Next year, there will be no cap max and they can bring in a good qb for big bucks if Jason does not pan out. Plus I think we need our #13 pick for a RT to solidfy the Oline for JC.

  3. I have to disagree. A yard per pass attempt is highly significant. Each time Cutler throws the ball you get 15% more yardage than you do with Campbell. They have roughly the same number of career attempts and Cutler has nearly 2,000 more yards.

    And yes, Campbell throws fewer picks but a whole lot fewer TD’s as well.

    I’d deal Campbell and the 13th for Cutler before the Broncos could hang up the phone. The Skins would then be set at QB through 2020.

  4. These are things I agree with:

    -Cutler is not worth giving up much more than just Campbell for. Definitely not a first rounder

    – Jamie is not an expert on Jay Cutler

    These are things I disagree with:

    -“counting stats” like touchdowns DO matter. That’s one of Campbell’s biggest issues is that he can’t convert in the redzone by throwing TD’s to his recievers.

    -It would suck to throw away Campbell’s experience in Jim Zorn’s offense for a guy who is green.

    These are things you didn’t think about:

    -Cutler was diagnosed with diabetes last year and 2008 was his first season where he was treating himself. People with diabetes tend to be easily fatigued if they are not closely monitoring their disease.

    Cutlers average QB rating in 06 and 07 for the 4th quarter was 73.2. In 2008 his QB rating was 94.2.

    I think now that he has his body better regulated he could be a friggin stud.

  5. Does Cutler produce the same behind our oline, and with a downgrade in the overall wide receiever position?

    Of course Cutler is going to have more passing yards. They had no running back last year. At times, Eddie Royal was behind Cutler running the ball.

    I think Cutler would do less here (last year) and Campbell would be more productive there last year as well.

    Bottom line, there is not that big of a difference other than what they will be getting paid next season.

    That being said, we cannot afford to have him here this season even if we wanted him.

    And oh wow he went to the Pro Bowl! So did Gus Frerotte. (Pro Bowl means nothing)

  6. In response to some of the comments here …

    “A yard per pass attempt is highly significant.”

    I agree, and, based off of their careers to date, that’s the only real statistical difference between the two.

    “Campbell throws fewer picks but a whole lot fewer TD’s as well.”

    Hence the use of TD/int. rather than just TD and interceptions.

    “I’d deal Campbell and the 13th for Cutler before the Broncos could hang up the phone.”

    That statement either overstates the difference between the two, or underrates the value of a mid-first round pick. Or both.

    “Cutlers average QB rating in 06 and 07 for the 4th quarter was 73.2. In 2008 his QB rating was 94.2. “

    The equivalent of four games is too small a sample to base anything on (see: Todd Collins in ’07).

  7. I think it’s easy for some people to say that the Redskins need to make the trade. I’ve been pro-Campbell and hope he sticks around but it’s tempting to think about Cutler at QB.

    The problem is IF this were to go down the Skins would take a step back in the progression of Zorn’s offense as well as giving up another high value pick. Is that worth it? I don’t think so.

    Worse comes to worst… JC gets one last season under contract and we look for someone else in 2010

  8. “Strip away counting stats (touchdowns, yards, etc.)”

    Because those really don’t matter…

    “Does Cutler produce the same behind our oline, and with a downgrade in the overall wide receiever position?”

    I would take Moss over Marshall any day. Hist stats would be off the charts were it not for crappy QBing, and they’ve still been pretty good.

    I’d take Cutler in a heartbeat, although his diabetes randomly worries me.

  9. You guys are forgetting that the running game in denver is non existant and cutler is often forced to carry the entire team which he does a decent job of.

    ask yourself this…who would you rather have in a 2 minute drill down by 5 points?????? I’d go cutler, play maker.

    campbell is just too slow on his reads and has poor pocket awareness

  10. Thomas, it’s not that touchdowns and yards don’t matter, it’s that TD/int. ratio and yards/attempt (i.e. NOT counting stats) are more effective metrics. But the sarcasm is noted, brainiac.

  11. @Jamie:

    “Now, I’m no expert on Jay Cutler — or anything else, really”

    What about great hair?

    I have two questions regarding this whole thing.

    1. Assuming Cutler will want a new deal upon landing in DC, how the hell do we have the cap room to sign him?

    2. Will Cutler be bringing any of that rocky mountain chronic he uses to maintain his perpetual “i’m baked” look to DC? If so, I may have to reconsider my allegiance to JC. I’m interested in what the mayor’s inside source can tell me about this one.

  12. Well I should have seen this coming.

    Heath Shuler NFL 75th throwback

    Patrick Ramsey 70th

    Jason Campbell 75th, and I even upgraded the patch from plastic to embroided.

    Whatever. Just fucking win please Redskins.

  13. @The Mayor

    I would be surprised if the ‘Skins landed Cutler, not because Vinny and Danny wouldn’t be interested but because I don’t see how we could afford him. If we couldn’t muster up the cap space to sign Ray Willis (I think that’s the other guard we pursued?) than how can squeeze in a franchise QB? Obviously dealing Campbell will free up some room, but I have to assume that Cutler’s contract is far higher than Campbell’s. I have no real knowledge of either contract but I’ve heard Cutler is looking for an extension in the Ben Roethlisberger range? With Haynesworth on the payroll I don’t see this working out… But I could be wrong.

    I’m also curious about your source, although it’s probably a secret

    Sorry that was kind of long

  14. @Jamie

    I don’t mean to say that those ratios are bogus metrics, but I’ve watched Campbell enough to know that, while his TD/INT and Y/A may be respectable, he wasn’t good enough to put the Skins over the top. He doesn’t take enough risks and doesn’t lead the team well.

    By your standards, Campbell was a better quarterback than Favre last year. Sorry, but 13 TD in a full season won’t cut it in the NFL.

  15. A few interesting stats from last season…

    Cutler:
    4.1% of passes were TDs
    2.9% were INTs

    Campbell:
    2.6% were TDs
    1.2% were INTs

    For good measure, Manning:
    4.8% were TDs
    2.2% were INTs

    I think that these numbers show Campbell to be too conservative under center.

  16. Oh, and “Manning” is Peyton. For a QB on a team with a ground game, here’s Eli:

    4.4% of passes were TDs
    2.1% were INTs

  17. Thomas, with regard to comment 18, yes, Campbell did have a better season than Favre, who threw as many interceptions (22) as TD.

    With regard to 19, TD/interception ratio tells you the same thing. Cutler throws more of both.

  18. That’s not quite what those stats indicate…they indicate risk-taking. If you divided the TD% by the INT%, then yes, you would get the TD/INT ratio. An even better risk metric would be to combine the percentages, but that wouldn’t be a useful indicator of QB success at all.

  19. We are now officially the Yankees/Cubs of the NFL when it comes to spending money and not winning and fucking with the fans emotions. I can’t take this shit anymore. If you don’t want Campbell, just play Colt Brennen and go from there. Leave Cutler and his stupid ass, down south gay ass hair and bangs alone.

  20. Oh and there is this little tidbit from ESPN:

    Washington (10-1): I have quietly heard Washington could be involved in a deal for Cutler since the day the trade story broke. The Redskins have said Jason Campbell is their quarterback, but Cutler is a better player and a trade package could involve Campbell. How about Cutler and Mike Shanahan reuniting in the nation’s capital in 2010?

    http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcwest/0-3-1884/Where-could-Cutler-end-up-.html

  21. Stu: That Shanahan rumor has been floating around for months. That’s another DO NOT WANT, but let’s deal with one at a time.

    @Thomas: I was kinda, sorta seeing your point of view until you said Favre had a better season than Campbell last year. At which point, credibility killed.

    Something else to keep in mind: No one is arguing that Campbell is a better QB than Cutler. Jamie’s argument was that the difference between the two is razor-thin. Campbell-for-Cutler straight up would be worth considered. Campbell plus a draft pick(s) for Cutler is madness.

  22. All those numbers and stats are great, but the one thing it doesn’t show, JAY CUTLER IS A DICK.

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