Ryan Tannehill left the field today with a non-contact injury. The severity is not yet known, but from the way people are talking about it there is the possibility that it’s serious. Already, the discussion has turned to what on Earth Miami would do to replace him.
Frankly, this is not surprising. Gase and Cutler have a relationship from their season together with the Bears in 2015, where Gase was offensive coordinator. While the team didn’t light the world on fire — the Bears went 6-9 in games started by Cutler — Cutler had a pretty decent statistical year. He had a 21/11 TD/INT ratio, and finished the season ranked 10th in the NFL in Total QBR. Gase attended Cutler’s retirement party in June.
So, however you want to evaluate the respective performances of Kaepernick and Cutler last season, it’s easy to understand why Gase’s first inclination would be to try reaching a quarterback he has a preexisting relationship with. (Kelly and Florio made clear they were speculating, but it seems like a fair guess.)
What is less clear is whether this would be an enticing situation for Cutler. Cutler is slated be the no. 2 color commentator for Fox Sports this season, alongside Kevin Burkhardt, who’s very good. The ups of a broadcasting job may not be as exhilarating as the heights of football, but it goes without saying that the workplace produces less harm to one’s body.
If Cutler leaves for one more NFL opportunity, there’s no guarantee he’d be able to return to quite as plum a spot in broadcasting. Sure, he could plausibly return to Fox, but what if the person they put in place of him kills it in the job?
[UPDATE: Charles Davis is already a second commentator in Fox’s no. 2 booth, so Cutler wouldn’t necessarily need to worry about getting Wally Pipped.]
There are still several steps to go before Cutler would have to make this decision, but it’s an interesting hypothetical.