Wife pushed QB Jay Cutler to Miami Dolphins, out of retirement

By The Sports Xchange  |  Aug. 7, 2017 at 7:30 PM
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Jay Cutler credited his wife and the recruiting pitch of Dolphins head coach Adam Gase for pulling him out of a short-lived retirement and into the starting quarterback job in Miami.

Cutler, who was released by the Bears in March, said spouse Kristin Cavallari is more responsible than any other for his return to the NFL, eschewing the opportunity to call games for FOX Sports for the chance to play for Gase again.

"She got tired of me being around the house," Cutler said Monday in Davie, Fla.

While Cutler will not play in Thursday night's preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons, Gase said the quarterback "didn't come out of retirement to stand on the sideline."

The 34-year-old Cutler met with the media at midday before taking a physical and officially signing a one-year, $10 million contract. He agreed to the deal Sunday, including incentives that could push it to $13 million.

Cutler is putting his broadcasting career on hold and will reunite with Gase, his former offensive coordinator in Chicago in 2015, to help replace injured starter Ryan Tannehill. Cutler was with the Bears for eight seasons and previously played in Denver.

Cutler did not practice Monday as backup Matt Moore took all the first-team reps.

Gase talked to the team about bringing in Cutler.

"He didn't come out of retirement to stand on the sideline, but he's got a ways to go," Gase told reporters at his Monday press conference. "He needs to come in here, take a physical and see where he's at."

Gase said it would take some time to get Cutler physically ready to play as he works his way back into game shape.

"We're going to have to be smart with that. We have to make sure we don't go too much too early," Gase said. "We'll see how long it takes him to get ready.

"He can make every throw you want, he has good skills and pocket presence. He, you know, has a really good grasp for our scheme."

Cutler gave a press conference hours after landing in Miami.

"The good thing is I play quarterback so I don't really have to be that good of cardiovascular shape," the 11-year veteran said Monday with a smile. "But I'll be fine. (Gase) knows kind of what I've been up to, so we'll figure it out along the way."

Cutler was sought by the Dolphins after Tannehill sustained a serious injury to his left knee on Thursday.

"I'm sure he hasn't been in the backyard throwing 100 balls a day," Gase said of Cutler. "We have a good plan in place. I feel good about how he fits in with us."

Cutler enjoyed success in his one season playing under Gase with the Bears as he compiled a career-best 92.3 quarterback rating. He passed for 3,659 yards and 21 touchdowns against 11 interceptions.

Cutler was released by the Bears this offseason and retired to take a television job with Fox Sports as a TV analyst in May. He indicated he would consider a return to the NFL under the right circumstances.

Cutler played just five games for the Bears last season after suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. He said Monday his surgically repaired shoulder has healed.

"It's good. It's good," said Cutler, who lives in Nashville, Tenn. "By March, I was cleared on that one. So I'm a little bit behind these guys. I mean they've been going through training camp and stuff like that, so I'm not that quite there yet. But it won't take long.

"I've got two boys so we're always doing something. I'd go down to (Vanderbilt University) and do some stuff down there. I was playing basketball in the mornings and there are football camps there. You know, you're around it. ... It'll come back pretty quickly. I'm not worried about that 'my arm and throwing' part. Getting used to these guys and how to get in and out of breaks and little bit more detailed stuff, that's some of the stuff we're going to have to kind of hit the fast forward button and get used to."

The Dolphins have not announced a timetable for Tannehill's recovery or even if he will undergo surgery, which likely would be season-ending.

An MRI exam revealed Tannehill did not suffer ligament damage when he went down and hyperextended the knee during Thursday's practice. His left knee buckled while he scrambled without contact.

The Dolphins are seeking multiple opinions on Tannehill's left knee before making a final decision. Several doctors are being consulted, including renowned orthopedic surgeon James Andrews.

Tannehill suffered a sprained ACL and MCL in the same knee last December but did not have surgery.

Tannehill attended Monday's practice, watching while wearing a thigh-to-ankle knee brace, according to the Fort Lauderdale News Sentinel.

"It's been a tough few days for him," Gase said of Tannehill.

Gase said Cutler will share snaps with Moore, the Dolphins' veteran backup quarterback who will start in the preseason opener against the Falcons.

"We've kind of prided ourselves on not really bringing in too many brand new faces, we're kind of keeping that locker room pretty tight," Gase said. "Our guys kind of understood the situation we're in, and understood the thought process behind everything, and I've been very open with them, with what we were talking about doing.

"So we've been communicating with our guys a lot, especially our veteran leaders, and all those guys understood exactly where I was coming from."

Moore said of his conversation with Gase, "He told me what's going on. It was very simple, very straightforward. I get it. I understand. ... It's a team sport and I'm a team guy."

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