DANA POINT, Calif. — Broncos coach Josh McDaniels says the team is committed to Jay Cutler as Denver’s quarterback. Still, he says no options — including trades — are being ruled out.

McDaniels spoke with the media for the first time Tuesday since the rift between the new Broncos coach and the Pro Bowl quarterback became public. He reiterated that Cutler is his quarterback and he’ll do what he can to improve the relationship.

The relationship became strained when McDaniels failed to inform Cutler about trade talks in which the Broncos showed interest in Matt Cassel. Cassel wound up being traded by New England to Kansas City, and Cutler asked to be traded.

“I’ve always been optimistic,” McDaniels said at the NFL meetings. “He’s on our team, he’s under contract, and I understand there’s things we have to work toward in our relationship.

“I’ve heard (Cutler’s trade request), but have not heard it from him personally. No one has contacted me, called me, text-messaged or e-mailed me.”

The 32-year-old McDaniels is in his first head coaching job after serving as offensive coordinator for New England, where he developed the untested Cassel into a top quarterback in 2008. He’s never denied that “conversations took place” this month about acquiring Cassel, nor does he apologize for them.

Cutler did not show for the Broncos’ first team meeting last week and hasn’t participated in the team’s offseason program, which is voluntary.

McDaniels smiled when asked if this ordeal was difficult for a young, rookie head coach.

“You hope certain things don’t get out before you have a chance to meet and explain them,” he said. “So my attitude is I’m going to work hard to improve the team and in this case, the player, when I have an opportunity to, get to the point where he respects me for what I can do for him on the field. I hope that that’s mutual.”

Cutler has said he’ll be at a mandatory minicamp April 17-19 — if he’s still a member of the Broncos. When asked if he envisions Cutler being the team’s quarterback five weeks from now, McDaniels emphatically said, “Yes.”