Today the Miami Dolphins signed Jay Cutler to a one year deal worth 10-13 million depending on incentives. This was the safe and smart play by the Dolphins. Full disclosure, no move the Dolphins could have made would save their season. By signing Cutler the team kept up appearances. It “shows” the players and the fans that they are trying to salvage the season. It looks good from afar, but in reality this team is much closer to contending for the top pick in the draft then it is for a Super Bowl.
Will Jay Make The Cut?
If Ryan Tannehill was healthy, this team would be middle of the pack at best. They would more than likely finish between 7-9 and 9-7, maybe even sneak into the playoffs as they did last season. With either Cutler or current back-up Matt Moore, this team looks destined for a 5-11 season. The schedule is daunting. With the exception of the two games against the Jets, there are no obvious wins on deck. The Patriots are most likely two losses, they may split the season series with Buffalo. How many wins do you see out home games with Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Tennessee, Oakland, and Denver. Or Road games at the Chargers, Falcons, Ravens, Panthers, And Chiefs? Call me sceptical, but this schedule just doesn’t scream optimism.
All of this belies the issues presented by signing Jay Cutler the person and the player. d that year by his standards working with head coach Adam Gase in Chicago. Yes Cutler played in 15 games, threw for 3,659 yards with 21 touchdowns and completed 64.4% of his passes. And yes, he limited himself to only 11 interceptions. It was easily one of the best seasons of Cutler’s injury-plagued, jaded career. The Bears went 6-10. That’s right, Adam Gase got the most he could out of Cutler and the team won six whole games. Despite the fact that this move probably wont amount to that many wins on the field, there is also the little issue of Jay Culter, the person. The public perception of Cutler is not pretty. He is seen as aloof, arrogant, and self-centered. If a player is good enough, these character traits can be overlooked too some extent. Jay Cutler has made a total of one Pro-Bowl, and that was back in 2008, when he played in Denver. Aaron Rodgers, Cutler is not. If the Dolphins win, Cutler’s cactus-like persona will be a non-issue. If they don’t, things could head south quickly. Yet in spite of all the possible pitfalls, this was the only real move the Dolphins could have and should have made.
Signing Jay Cutler was the best move the Dolphins could have made, mostly because it’s the only real option they had. It’s August, free agency is over. Starting Quarterbacks aren’t just hanging out in front of Home Depot. Also unlike the Minnesota Vikings last year, this roster isn’t a Sam Bradford away from contending. So what other moves could the Dolphins have made?
Sign Colin Kaepernick
Kaepernick is a better and younger quarterback than Jay Cutler. He also comes with a large amount of unfortunate baggage. In Miami Kaepernick would bring even more baggage than usual. Not only would the team need to have to deal with all the silly noise from Kaepernick’s 2016 protest, they would also have to deal with his comments from his game in Miami last season. Before the game last season, Kaepernick made a few pro-Fidel Castro comments in an interview. In Miami, that is not the smartest course of action. Despite all the baggage, Kaepernick would probably not be good enough to elevate this roster into contention. If your Miami, why deal with all the headaches to win seven or so games?
Robert Griffin III is probably the only other non-retired quarterback out there who is available. He is also more fragile than a millennial who doesn’t get a participation trophy. Also, there are real concerns teams have floated in the media on if Griffin still wants to play? Cutler is far from durable, but 12 games from him would be of more benefit to the team than 3 games from Griffin.
Trade For A Starter-Level QB
There is no Sam Bradford currently available on the trade market. There have been rumbles of Alex Smith being available, but he’s not someone you trade the farm for. The market is bare, unless you want to roll the dice on Teddy Bridgewater’s health. The timing od Tannehill’s injury made a trade almost pointless in this market.
So What Now?
Cutler did not abandon the broadcast booth so he could backup Matt Moore. The team is yet to announce that Tannehill will have the knee surgery he should have had last year. But the signing of Cutler is the writing on the wall for that. Cutler will lead the Dolphins into the season, at least for the first few weeks until he gets hurt. Miami will probably finish the season somewhere between 5-11 and 8-8. Hopefully Adam Gase keeps his job and hopefully Ryan Tannehill returns in 2018 in perfect health. Hopefully in 2018, Fox still wants to have Cutler call some games. If not, the Dolphins gave him at least ten million reasons to risk it.