Throwing Jay Cutler into what fans thought was a stable quarterback situation is like rolling a grenade into a garden party. Yes, we’re talking about THAT Jay Cutler. The guy with the rocket arm who can look like Terry Bradshaw on one play, threading a laser throw between defenders 60-yards downfield, then George Plimpton on the next, a stumbling, bumbling fraud who is touching a football for the first time. What were the Dolphins thinking when they signed the recently retired Cutler out of the broadcast booth? One thing is certain. It does not bode well for any of the current backup.
Let’s take a look at the Dolphins injured starter, Ryan Tannehill, an eighth overall, first-round selection out of Texas A&M who has quietly been building an impressive resume the past four years and even had the team into the playoffs as a wild card last year. But then came a non-contact knee injury during training camp, which resulted in an ACL tear that will keep him out the entire season.
Into the breech would step long-time Dolphins backup, Matt Moore, a veteran who has performed admirably filling in over the years. Except, for some reason, the team’s braintrust decided they did not want to head into the season with Moore at the helm, preferring to tap the obviously talented but sometimes erratic and allegedly disinterested Cutler, who has been accused of not only bad on-field decision-making, but being a bit of a prima donna during his years in Chicago.
One thing sometimes overlooked is the business side of decisions like these. Jay Cutler has a decided advantage over Matt Moore in the name recognition department. To stay with Moore might have been perceived by fans as a sign that the team was already throwing in the towel on this season. Cutler, with at least some playoff experience, gives the appearance that they are still trying and with a strong supporting cast even make a run at last year’s successful 10-win season.
Plus Cutler signed for one season at $10 million before bonuses, which is not big money for an NFL quarterback. At 34 years of age, Cutler had officially retired at the end of last season, and certainly isn’t a long-term solution for any team. The good news for the Dolphins is that head coach Adam Gase got the single-best season out of Cutler back in 2015 as an assistant for the Chicago Bears. Maybe he can work his magic again and create a team that fans are excited enough about to buy tickets.
So, for now, Moore is the odd man out of the starting job and appears ready to settle in for another season carrying a clipboard. There’s a good chance the deck will be reshuffled again next year, and see Tannehill reclaim his starting job. Of course, fate has a funny way of creating the completely unexpected. Ask Dallas Cowboys star quarterback, Tony Romo, who suffered a back injury in last year’s preseason and stood on the sidelines as unheralded rookie, Dak Prescott, solidified himself as the team’s present and future.
Jay Cutler in Miami for more than one season? Probably not.
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