The former Chicago Bears QB was transitioning into becoming a broadcaster. However, Miami head coach and former Bears offensive Adam Gase contacted Cutler after starer Ryan Tannehill tore his ACL.
According to NFL.com, Cutler signed a one-year, $10-million deal with another $3 million in possible incentives. The money is low for a starting-caliber quarterback. But the 34-year-old walks back into an ideal situation under the former OC that he had success with in Chicago.
The big question now is what we can expect with Cutler as the Dolphins quarterback. We’ll discuss this below and also cover how Cutler impacts the Dolphins’ 2017 odds.
Regaining a Passion for Football
The problem with Cutler is that he spent the offseason working on his broadcasting skills, rather than on his passing skills. But this is a good thing because he was losing passion for the game after last season.
“I don’t know if retirement is the right word; I don’t feel that anyone ever really retires from the NFL,” Cutler said after retiring and announcing that he’d be working for FOX Sports. “You are either forced to leave, or you lose the desire to do what’s required to keep going. I’m in between those situations at this point in my life.”
Being out of the game for months likely gave Cutler a fresh perspective on football. And this will help the 11-year veteran since he had a down season with Chicago in 2016.
Cutler threw for 1,059 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions in just 5 games. A shoulder injury kept him sidelined for most of the year. However, Cutler failed to regain his job after becoming healthy again.
Cutler could be Good in Reunion with Gase
Some question how well Cutler will do in Miami, given how his time in Chicago ended. But the key thing that could help him is a reunion with Gase.
The former Bears OC guided Chicago’s offense in 2015. And Cutler had one of his most-efficient seasons, tallying 3,659 passing yards, 21 TD passes, 11 interceptions, and a 64.4% completion rate. Cutler’s 92.3 passer rating in 2015 was the highest of his career.
Gase got the best out of Cutler by altering the latter’s free-wheeling style. Instead, Cutler focused on making less-risky throws and concentrating on completions. The result was a 2.3% interception rate, which is his lowest ever.
Of course, this isn’t the same Cutler that’s walking into Miami. He’s now 34 and is likely in poor shape compared to previous seasons. What’s worse is that he’s only played 5 games in the past two years.
Nevertheless, Cutler makes perfect sense for Miami. He knows Gase’s offense and is an obvious upgrade over backup Matt Moore.
There’s no light at the end of the tunnel because Tannehill won’t be available all year. So it was either Cutler or Colin Kaepernick in terms of starting-level free agents. Cutler knows the offense, which made it easier for Gase and the Dolphins to give him a call.
Limited Action in Dolphins Debut
Jay has one preseason game under his belt in a Miami uniform. However, his limited action against the Baltimore Ravens offered few hints on how he’ll do the rest of the year.
But it’s still worth reporting that he took 12 snaps (including penalties) and completed 3-of-6 passes for 24 yards. Cutler also completed a 31-yarder to receiver DeVante Parker. But the play was nullified by a holding call.
He took one big hit on a third-and-long play,. Baltimore’s Za’Darius Smith put Cutler into the dirt just after he fired an incomplete pass.
This convinced Gase to pull Cutler on the next play in favor of Moore. And Moore didn’t play long either, with third-stringer David Fales taking most of the game’s snaps.
Again, it’s hard to tell what Cutler has from the small sample size. But this was a nice tuneup for a player who’s quickly stepping into Miami’s starting role.
Miami Dolphins 2017/18 Odds
The Dolphins are a mystery because they’re dealing with a major quarterback injury and getting Cutler ready.
Gase hopes that they can build on the 2016 campaign, where they made the playoffs. Miami suffered a 30-12 loss to Pittsburgh with Tannehill missing this Wild Card game. But they feel that they could’ve competed with a healthy Tannehill.
Here are their GTBets odds entering the 2017 regular season:
- Odds to win AFC East – Miami +1000
- Odds to win AFC Championship – Miami +3000
- Odds to win Super Bowl – Miami +6500
- Week 1 Odds vs. Tampa Bay – Miami +1.5 (-110)
As their odds show, nobody realistically expects this team to win the Super Bowl. They’re even big underdogs with regard to winning their own division. That’s because New England (-1600) is the clear-and-away favorite to take the AFC East crown.
But Miami can certainly be competitive and challenge for a playoff spot again if everything comes together.
Much relies on if Cutler has anything left after 11 seasons. He’ll be aided by a solid receiving corp that includes Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker. Landry led Miami last season with 1,136 receiving yards on 94 catches, while Parker racked up 744 yards on 56 catches.
The Dolphins will rely heavily on Jay Ajayi, who rushed for 1,272 yards and 8 touchdowns. If Ajayi can get through the season healthy, then he should put up big numbers.
Miami will also have a strong defense that’s anchored by defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, defensive end Cameron Wake, and linebacker Kiko Alonso.