Jay Cutler, the Bears’ franchise leader in most passing stats (except, perhaps strangely, interceptions) was let go at the end of the 2016 season. It seemed like the gunslinger was going to hang up his cleats for good.
Instead, he is about to reunite with the coach who helped keep his career afloat once before—Adam Gase, now the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Back when Cutler was first cut by the Bears, his former offensive coordinator had good things to say about him:
When you got to third down you could call the worst play possible and he would get the conversion. He made a lot of things that we did look really good. I think he has a lot to offer a team.
It’s therefore not surprising that Gase reached out to Cutler shortly after Ryan Tannehill suffered an unfortunate non-contact injury to his troubled left knee.
Talk bubbled up all Friday and Saturday about whether or not Cutler would delay (or abandon) a career in broadcasting in order to reunite with Gase. On Saturday, NFL.com reported:
Gase confirmed he had one conversation with the quarterback-turned-broadcaster about Cutler coming out of a brief retirement. The coach added anything further is premature at this point.
Cutler's broadcast agent tweeted Saturday morning that Cutler hasn't made any decisions on whether he'd want to return.
That article went on to explain that according to Gase, Cutler had made no demands regarding starting if he were to return. Then, after multiple reports on what had or had not been agreed to, it looked like Cutler was going to stay retired. However, now it seems like the broadcasting booth can wait.
Multiple sources, including NFL.com and CBS Sports are now reporting that a deal has been reached with the Dolphins. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Cutler has reached a 1-year deal worth $10 million, plus incentives that could push it to $13 million, to play for Miami.
The move might come as a surprise to many who see Cutler as the beleaguered player with a 51-51 record in Chicago. However, he is also a veteran quarterback who knows Gase’s system, and he has proved that while he will not lift a team to the playoffs, he can play well if a decent team is around him. He has playoff experience, and a knack for leading fourth-quarter comebacks. With Tannehill down, that might be exactly what the Dolphins need.
Miami and Chicago are not scheduled to play in 2017, so it seems like Chicago fans and critics will have to cheer or boo from a distance. One thing is certain—Cutler is likely to have Miami fans feeling strongly about this deal one way or another soon.