You thought this guy was going to go quietly into the night? I don’t think so. Not if there’s a $10 million offer on the table from the Miami Dolphins. I think Jay Cutler is a better QB than he’s ever gotten credit for, but I also think his biggest problem has always been perception. He looks like a guy that does not give a shit and doesn’t really want to play. Whether thats actually true or not nobody except maybe Kristin Cavallari knows, but hey perception is reality.
Which is why Cutler signing with the Dolphins is very interesting. Its the best team he’s been on, at least offensively, in years plus its in the warm and comfortable city of Miami. Maybe he puts the Menthols down for a few months and has a mini career resurgence a la Kurt Warner in Arizona. Or maybe he collects $10 Million to half-ass a season before going into the FOX booth.
Cutler started his career off as a promising young QB, then became salty as fuck when new Denver coach Josh McDaniels tried to trade him for Matt Cassel, forced a trade, landed with the Bears, played pretty well there for a couple of years with Brandon Marshall, then the team started to get worse before bottoming out last year and becoming a complete dumpster fire. Add all that to the fact that Chicago is a miserably cold city during the football season and I can see how Smokin Jay Cutler was born.
BUT, Cutler’s also only thrown for 4,000+ yards once in a season, and thrown 25+ TDs 3 times in 10 years. For a quick AFC East comparison, Tom Brady has thrown for 4,000+ yards 8 different times and has thrown 25+ TDs 12 times in his career. So Tom Brady he is not.
But the Dolphins don’t really need him to be. They just need him to be similar, if not better, than the level of production they were getting out of Ryan Tannehill. I think its a pretty safe bet to assume most Dolphins fans are pretty lukewarm on Tannehill. He’s been good, not great. He hasn’t made the jump to a top tier QB like most hoped he would. Again for comparisons sake, Tannehill has thrown for 4,000+ yards twice in five years and thrown 25+ TDs just once in his career. His career completion percentage of 62.7 is just a tick higher than Cutler’s 61.9. Tannehill is more mobile, but the difference is not as much as you would think. The last four years Tannehill has rushed for 164, 141, 311, 238 and 211 yards (4.9 Yards per Attempt for his career) with 6 TDs. In that same timespan Cutler has rushed for 24 (limited to 5 games by injury), 201, 191, 118, and 233 (4.5 Yards per Attempt for his career) with 3 TDs. So not a huge difference.
My point is the Dolphins aren’t completely and totally fucked. Cutler is not Tom Brady, but he’s better than most people think.
Okay, okay, you want to see how he stacks up against the most famous free agent QB ever in Colin Kaepernick too? Despite his gazelle like speed, Kaepernick “only” averages 6.1 Yards per Rushing Attempt. People remember those who huge runs in the playoffs a few years back and it skews perception. In the 2012 playoffs he rushed for 264 yards and in the 2013 playoffs he rushed for 243 yards and 4 total TDs, which is 9.9 Yards per Attempt). Overall though? Not that much better. Not so much better you want to deal with bitchy questions from everyone holding a microphone for the next 6 months. His passing stats? Career completion percentage of 59.8 (lower than both Cutler and Tannehill). He’s never thrown for 4,000+ yards. He’s never thrown for 3,500+ yards. Never threw 25+ TDs, he’s only topped 20 once. Kaepernick obviously has a much smaller sample size of games started than Cutler, but those are the numbers guys.
So if anything the Dolphins will be interesting to watch, assuming Jay Cutler wants to do more than just collect a paycheck. But if he truly just wanted to snake another check, Cutler could have signed with the Jets months ago. Maybe he sees a legit opportunity here with Miami. The Patriots have had the AFC East on lock for a while now so its not like they will suddenly contend for the division. But similar to the Vikings getting Sam Bradford last year, except much better because Miami didn’t have to give up a FIRST round draft pick to get Cutler, brining in a solid, veteran QB probably keeps them in contention for a Wild Card spot. Smokin Jay Cutler is back indeed.