Jay Cutler, the Miami Dolphins, and the AFC Playoff race


Jay Cutler has signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins following the injury to Ryan Tannehill during training camp.

While the Dolphins’ options for a new starting quarterback weren’t necessarily far and few between, the team decided to bring back a “retired” QB to take over the starting role instead of choosing from one of the active free agents on the market. Instead of Colin Kaepernick or Robert Griffen III, the Phins decided to go with former Bears’ quarterback, Jay Cutler.

Whether it was head coach Adam Gase, former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator, or if the Dolphins truly believe Cutler is the best available QB, the 34-year-old is back in a uniform and will take over a team hoping for a playoff appearance. The only difference this time is Cutler will return to a hostile AFC.

Cutler and Dolphins’ head coach, Adam Gase, have history. Actually, Cutler’s best season has come with Gase as his head coach.

The problem is that Cutler has never had a “best season” worth talking about. In 2014, he threw for a career high 28 touchdowns, only to throw 18 interceptions as well. The following year, 2015, he threw for a career low 11 interceptions (career low when playing at least 15 games), but only threw for 21 touchdowns and went 6-9 as a starter.

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Cutler isn’t a superstar, and will never lead a team to a Super Bowl. Plus, he’s out of shape, coming off an embarrassing season, and is joining the team right before their first preseason game. Not a ton of positive factors in this decision by the Dolphins.

Miami was actually pretty impressive this offseason. Drafting Charles Harris, signing T.J. McDonald, and giving Cam Wake, Kiki Alonso, and Kenny Stills to contract extensions, and signing Lawrence Timmons were some of the best AFC moves of any team.

They weren’t a serious contender in 2017 but were someone to consider when thinking of dark horses this season. But without a quarterback, or at least a true starting quarterback, they’re looking at a wildcard berth at best.

Cutler may have the skills of a starting quarterback, but he doesn’t have the drive. In his first press conference in Miami, his two famous quotes are:

"The good thing is I play quarterback, so I don’t really have to be in that great of cardiovascular shape,"


"I was pretty good with where I was in my life; I was around the kids a lot and felt pretty content. So I went back and forth on this. My wife talked me into it more than anybody else. … I think she got tired of me being around the house."

Sounds like a pretty motivated individual. But that’s pretty much what you get with Cutler. Someone who’s going to go down when the pressure is one, and will do absolutely nothing to rally his team to victory.

What Cutler does to this Dolphins team is make them worse. They’re no longer a threat to the Pittsburgh Steelers or any other major contender in the AFC. Maybe, to teams competing for the wildcard, but with the Kansas City Chiefs, Cinncinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, and Houston Texans all considered playoff bubble teams, Miami’s chances virtually went down with Tannehil.

Next: Colin Kaepernick: A monster created by the NFL

Sorry, Dolphins fans, but Jay Cutler pretty much eliminates you from the postseason.

Thankfully, it means there’s one less threat to the Steelers.