Cowboys to Cut QB Chad Hutchinson
With their quarterback depth chart overstocked, the Dallas Cowboys on Friday phoned the agent for two-year veteran Chad Hutchinson, apprising Scott Boras that his client will be released before the team reports to training camp next week.
The decision on Hutchinson’s fate has been anticipated for more than a month. During the offseason, the Cowboys having added veteran Vinny Testaverde as a free agent and traded for Drew Henson. Coach Bill Parcells indicated he would not go to camp with five quarterbacks, since there is not enough time to get meaningful snaps for all of them. Incumbent starter Quincy Carter tops the depth chart, followed by Testaverde, Henson and second-year pro Tony Romo.
Dallas won a bidding war for Hutchinson in 2002, signing him as a free agent to a contract that included a $3.1 million bonus. Hutchinson had abandoned his football career with two seasons of eligibility remaining at Stanford, signed a baseball contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, and then opted to return to the gridiron in 2002. Most scouts believed that Hutchinson, who had a short stint with the Cardinals at the major league level during his four-year baseball career, would have been a first-round choice in the NFL had he continued at Stanford. Obviously, the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones thought that was the case and believed Hutchinson could quickly regain his football form. But the return to the gridiron was an often painful and uneven one. Hutchinson, 27, started nine games as a rookie, when Carter either faltered or was injured, and completed 127 of 250 passes for 1,555 yards, with seven touchdown passes and eight interceptions. In ’03 under Parcells, however, Hutchinson appeared in only one game.
The Cowboys allocated him to the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe this spring and he played inconsistently before suffering a right (throwing) shoulder injury toward the end of the year. He subsequently spent nearly a month rehabilitating the shoulder under the direction of noted Birmingham, Ala., orthopedist Dr. James Andrews.
It will be interesting to see if any team claims Hutchinson, who has a strong arm but lacks accuracy and mobility, once he is officially waived. A few teams have hinted they might consider auditioning him if he clears waivers.
Hutchinson is an excellent athlete and may well mature into a quality NFL quarterback at some point. But, so far, he has not given any indication that he has the right mental make-up to be a starting quarterback in the league, let alone in one of the brightest spotlights in all of sports.