The Miami Dolphins moved quickly to address the quarterback void left behind by Ryan Tannehill's injury last week by coaxing the 34-year-old Jay Cutler out of retirement on Sunday. After the signing was announced, the national media quickly weighed in on the Dolphins latest addition.
USA TODAY's Lindsay Jones provided an even assessment of Miami's addition of the former Chicago quarterback:
Though he has not played with any of Miami’s skill position players, like receivers Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills, Cutler’s familiarity with Gase’s playbook and coaching style should be immediately beneficial for a team with playoff aspirations.
Still, big questions remain. Cutler played in just five games for the Bears last season and underwent shoulder surgery in December. At 34, he has not started a full season’s worth of games since 2009, though he only missed one start each in 2014 and 2015.
Danny Heifetz of The Ringer also touched on the concerns surrounding Cutler's ability to rebound from an injury-shortened 2016 season.
But Gase is not a miracle worker, and Cutler had surgery to repair his torn right labrum in his throwing shoulder in December. Banking on Cutler to return with his famous arm strength (or even his “meh” overall quarterback play) isn’t a guarantee.
While raising concerns of his own, ESPN's James Walker cut to the core of the Dolphins' cumbersome quarterback situation.
The Cutler signing is all about selling hope. Despite all his flaws, he has one of the strongest arms in the NFL. But the reality is that too much of Miami’s hope this year rested on the gimpy left knee of Tannehill -- a knee that the team and Tannehill jointly decided not to surgically repair in the offseason. That was the Dolphins’ fatal mistake that can't be masked by this $10 million signing.
Skepticism isn't in short supply when assessing the media's reaction to Miami's latest move, but it is imperative to factor in the productive relationship that coach Adam Gase has with Cutler. While working together in Chicago, the former Vanderbilt standout passed for over 3,500 yards while maintaining a respectable touchdown-to-interception ratio over the course of the 2015 season.
Obvious concerns do exist, however, as the Bears were only able to parlay Cutler's solid statistical season into a 6-10 record.