DAVIE — Jay Cutler would like to play quarterback in 2017 and he’d really like to play for coach Adam Gase again, a source said Friday.
It will be up to the Dolphins if the reunion occurs, the source indicated.
The Dolphins are trying to make a final medical determination on Ryan Tannehill. And if Tannehill has season-ending knee surgery, Cutler appears a viable option.
The Dolphins could consider promoting backup Matt Moore to starter. But Miami will need to add a quarterback — either a starter or backup — even if Tannehill opts again for rest and rehabilitation.
Cutler and Gase had success together in Chicago, when the quarterback posted a career-high in passer rating in 2015, one year before Tannehill did the same with Miami.
In May, Gase said he was not surprised Cutler would go into television work. Cutler has been preparing for his role as Fox game analyst.
“I guess I know a different guy than what everybody else portrays. I think a lot of things that have been said about him in the past have really been (BS),” Gase said.
At the NFL owner’s meetings in March, Gase said he had texted Cutler to let him know if he ever needs anything to let him know. At the time, Gase said, “I love Jay, but I do like the situation that we’ve got going on right now at our place.”
Of course, those comments were made before Tannehill re-injured his left knee.
In March, Gase said he understood why Cutler hadn’t necessarily latched on to a team as a backup.
“I think it’s not as easy as people would think it would be when you’ve been a starter for your entire career and then all of a sudden you’re like, ‘Okay, I’m just going to be a backup.’” Cutler said. “It’s just going to have to be something (where) if that’s the role – in his mind – that’s what he wanted to do, then he’d probably be good. But if that’s not where his mind is at, then it’s probably just not as … I wouldn’t see him wanting to do that.”
In Miami, Cutler could potentially either be anointed the starter, or placed in a strong position to beat out Moore. Cutler may not have practiced football recently but he is obviously familiar with Gase’s offense.
Gase and Cutler have had continued communication, according to the source.
Cutler, 34 years old, posted three winning seasons in 11 seasons with Denver and Chicago, two franchises Gase also worked for.
Dolphins offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod, who played with Cutler in Chicago, said multiple times Friday that he wants to see what happens with Tannehill before commenting extensively on Cutler.
Bushrod said he had not spoken with Cutler. Bushrod did add: “I think Cutler’s a great competitor. I think he’s tough.”
In 2015, Gase, Cutler and Bears went only 6-10, but Cutler had 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions (career-low as a starter) and a quarterback rating of 92.3. It’s the only time in Cutler’s career he’s topped 90.
Before this season, the Bears cut Cutler. They’ve since signed Mike Glennon and traded for Mitch Trubisky.
Cutler was limited by thumb and shoulder injuries in his final season.
Gase said in the spring that Cutler has plenty left.
“I do, because obviously, my experience with him was very good,” Gase said. “I guess I don’t get all the hatred towards him. I see a guy that worked hard and did everything he could to try to help his team win and sacrificed his body. To me, he was an athletic quarterback that could throw the ball and when you got to third down, you could call the worst play possible, and he was going to get you the conversion. He made a lot of the things that we did look really good. I guess I just don’t get it. I think he has a lot to offer a team. I think he’s a starting quarterback in the NFL, but that’s just my opinion.”
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