After the news of Ryan Tannehill’s injury, the Dolphins have reportedly agreed to a deal with former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Joe Tidei, a associate producer for Comcast Sports Net Chicago, reported on Twitter Friday that the Dolphins and Cutler have agreed to a one-year, $13 million contract. It’s worth noting that this report has NOT been confirmed by any other sources, though some like Yahoo’s Benjamin Allbright and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport both report that a deal is close. It appears that he will get the starting job should Tannehill miss the season due to his knee injury.
Cutler spent eight seasons in the Windy City, going 51-51 with 154 touchdowns for the Bears. That being said, his best season in Chicago was the season in which his offensive coordinator was now Dolphins head coach Adam Gase. In Gase’s only season in Chicago, Cutler had his best TD/INT ratio of his career. His numbers weren’t ever stellar in Chicago, though he holds virtually all of the team’s passing records.
He has reportedly kept in contact with Gase, even after he left Chicago to become Miami’s head coach in 2016. Cutler retired after he got cut by the Bears after last season, one in which he only started 5 games due to injury. He joined the Fox Sports team as an NFL analyst, and is currently slated to work the Bears’ week one game against the Falcons for Fox.
Unlike the Seahawks and Marshawn Lynch, the Bears will not be able to get compensation if Cutler goes to Miami. He was cut before he retired, so he will be a free agent if he decides to reinstate. Had they refused to cut him, the Bears would have his rights should he reinstate.
Personally, this seemed like the right idea from the start. I think Ryan Pace butchered this move. It never seemed like, at least to me, that Cutler was truly done. Pace knew that Tannehill wasn’t getting surgery for his partially torn ACL. He knew that the Broncos didn’t have an ideal quarterback situation. He knew that Cutler wanted to play in Houston, so if they had a change of heart, that could be a possible destination.
I’ve been really supportive of Ryan Pace, but this move wasn’t smart at all. It makes no sense for them to have cut Jay, instead of cutting Connor Shaw. They should have waited until final roster cuts to sever ties with him. The Bears are so far under the cap that they could afford his salary without a problem. Plus, assuming he doesn’t retire, he could be another camp mentor for Mitchell Trubisky. More importantly though, they could have gotten a draft pick should he have wanted to go to a different team.
I think Cutler would do well in Miami. I’ve defended Cutler to death during his time in Chicago, because I don’t think he was ever given a fair shot. Give him the receiving corp that the Dolphins have, alongside one of the game’s most underrated backs in Jay Ajayi, and I think he would have a ton of success. It also doesn’t hurt when you would be facing the Jets and Bills for a quarter of your season.
This story should, and will, be captivating the sports media market for the foreseeable future. Cutler was one of the few guys that everyone had a strong opinion on, and I feel it is good for the NFL to have someone like him in the league.