Several friends, old teammates and coaches got together six weeks ago for a retirement party to celebrate Jay Cutler’s 11-year career in the NFL. In case you didn’t know, the 34-year-old former Bear has decided to trade in his spikes for a mic and become a game analyst for Fox Sports.
Well, maybe the gunslinging quarterback isn’t riding off into the sunset just yet.
When news hit Thursday morning that Miami Dolphins starting QB Ryan Tannehill had to be taken off the practice field with an apparent left leg injury after an awkward fall, Cutler’s name quickly surfaced.
It’s unclear to what extent Tannehill is injured, but he already wears a brace on the left leg after suffering ACL and MCL sprains last season. In the meantime, the Dolphins’ backups are Matt Moore, Brandon Doughty and David Fales. Probably not the way a playoff-contending team wants to start the season.
Moments after the injury, conjecture mounted on social media that Dolphins head coach Adam Gase, who coached Cutler to perhaps his finest season with the Bears and was in attendance for his June retirement party, would be reaching out to Cutler.
For the Cutler-Gase reunion to happen, a lot would have to fall into place before the Dolphins first preseason game in a week.
For one, Cutler would have to want to come out of retirement. From the looks of wife Kristin Cavallari’s social media, Cutty is enjoying his days away from the football field just fine.
Secondly, has Cutler stayed in playing shape? He still looks trim in pictures, but how much conditioning has he been doing? Despite the Gase connection, signing an out-of-shape, injury-prone quarterback would be awfully risky for the Dolphins.
Still, listening to Cutler that past few months talk about retirement, one doesn’t get the feeling that this is how and when he wanted it to end.
In May, Cutler told “Waddle & Silvy” on ESPN 1000: “There’s zero doubt in my mind that there’s going to be some regret. That’s going to happen. I feel like last week, even when this decision was solid in my mind, I woke up like, ‘Is this really what I want to do?’ So there’s going to be some of that.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that come the middle of August, September, there’s going to be that itch to play. And there’s going to be part of me where I know I still can do it. But that’s not how the cards played out, and that’s not where we’re at.”
Cutler told ESPN’s Adam Schefter five weeks ago that he had not signed his retirement papers. He also said this: “There are a lot of guys out there when they retire, their whole sense of self worth is really wrapped around football. A lot of us, it’s all we’ve ever done.”
Cutler is scheduled to be in the Fox broadcast booth on Sept. 10 for the Bears home opener vs. the Atlanta Falcons. The Dolphins open at home that day, too. Stay tuned to see which headset Cutler is wearing.