Just when we thought Jay Cutler was out, the Miami Dolphins pull him back in. Only a few months after retiring from the NFL and joining the broadcast booth, the quarterback is lacing up the boots again and signing with the Dolphins on a one-year, $10 million deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Cutler will be filling in for Ryan Tannehill, who re-aggravated the ACL injury that ended his season early last year. There’s no timetable for Tannehill at this point, and the team has not confirmed whether the quarterback will need surgery, but the decision to bring in Cutler suggests that Tannehill’s availability is in question.
After getting released by the Chicago Bears, Cutler elected to call it a career, joining up with Fox Sports as a color commentator. He was scheduled to work with the No. 2 team alongside Kevin Burkhardt, but those plans will be on hold while Cutler tries to help the Dolphins cope with Tannehill’s absence. He’ll also be reunited with Dolphins head coach Adam Gase, who worked with Cutler in Chicago.
Cutler spent the previous eight seasons with the Bears, going 51-51 with an 85.2 QB Rating and 154-109 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He’s always been inconsistent at best, but one of Cutler’s best years came in 2015, when Gase was his offensive coordinator. That season, he threw for 21 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions, averaging a career-best 7.6 yards per attempt. He’ll be asked to produce at around the same level as the Dolphins hope to build on last year’s 9-7 playoff campaign.
There’s always an inherent risk in Cutler, who is 34 years old and has problems staying healthy. On the positive side, he has solid weapons in Jay Ajayi, Jarvis Landry, and DeVante Parker, which is more than what he had for most of his Bears career. The hope is that Cutler will keep the offense on schedule while Miami waits for Tannehill to get healthy.