Jay Cutler hasn’t retired yet, but it could be coming soon. Cutler has already auditioned with at least one network and has spoken with network executives about “football-related TV roles,” according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. On Friday morning, it was reported that Cutler was indeed joining the Fox NFL broadcast team. He’ll join Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis for games this season.
That’s news to Cutler’s agent, Bus Cook, who told ESPN’s Adam Schefter just last week that his client wants to play football and hasn’t mentioned retirement. But Cook only handles football contracts for Cutler and has evidently been left out of the loop by the quarterback’s pursuit of another job outside of the NFL.
"You'd have to talk to Jay about that," Cook told Garafolo on Thursday. "Any football player would be smart to explore his options in case he doesn't play anymore. But Jay is as talented as any quarterback out there right now."
According to ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson, FOX auditioned Cutler to be the replacement for John Lynch who left the network to become the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers. With Lynch out, FOX is currently without a broadcast partner for Kevin Burkhardt.
Cutler, 34, spent the first three seasons of his career with the Denver Broncos and the last eight with the Chicago Bears. After releasing the quarterback in March, the Bears moved on by signing Mike Glennon in free agency and trading up to select Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NFL draft.
If Cutler has a future in the NFL, it’ll be in a new city, but there aren’t many teams that haven’t already pieced together a plan at quarterback for the 2017 season. The New York Jets reportedly had interest in Cutler, but now have Josh McCown to serve as a bridge while Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg battle behind him on the depth chart.
Still, the other top quarterbacks on the market are Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, and Blaine Gabbert, meaning Cutler would likely get a call as soon as things go wrong for a team in 2017.
A career in broadcasting would presumably provide Cutler with more security than that. Tony Romo spurned interest from teams earlier in the offseason, opting instead to jump into a job with CBS.
Cutler could soon follow with a similar choice — even if his personality seems like an odd match with the big lights and cameras.