Cutler will re-join Dolphins coach Adam Gase, as they try to recreate the success the quarterback had in 2015 with the Chicago Bears.
With it seeming more and more likely that quarterback Ryan Tannehill will have season-ending knee surgery, Cutler will be given every opportunity to start with Matt Moore maintaining a backup role.
In fact, it’s expected that Cutler will be the starter.
The deal is for one year, a source confirmed to the Palm Beach Post, and for $10 million as ESPN’s Adam Schefter said.
The allure of reuniting with Gase and joining a loaded offense was too much for Cutler, who passed up on the opportunity to be a color analyst, as planned.
Two days ago, a source told the Palm Beach Post that Cutler really liked the idea of playing for Gase again.
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.
Cutler has had the reputation of a gunslinger throughout his career. Although his career statistics are not dissimilar from Tannehill’s, his playing persona is actually more reminiscent of Moore, who led Miami down the stretch last season.
While Cutler has a comforting familiarity with Gase’s offense, how quickly he develops relationships with the Dolphins and even a leader will be fascinating to watch given the Dolphins’ first preseason game is in four days.
Throughout his career, critics of Cutler have suggested he seems aloof, though Gase has indicated that in his view, many of the perceptions of Cutler are unfair. Gase connected in a way with Cutler, and even discussed with him ways to improve negative body language.
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.”
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.”