With starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill sustaining a knee injury this week in training camp the Miami Dolphins have invested $10 million in bringing in Jay Cutler. The signing signifies Miami’s hops of salvaging the season and making another playoff run.
While the severity of Tannehill’s knee injury hasn’t been disclosed ESPN reported on Friday that the quarterback may need season-ending knee surgery. According to ESPN, Tannehill could decide to rest the knee for six to eight weeks and try to stage a return; but with the team bringing in Cutler the writing may be on the wall that Tannehill will likely be going under the knife.
“He’s done I think,” is what one source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Tannehill initially injured the knee in a December game against the Arizona Cardinals, and while Tannehill may opt to wait it out, Schefter is reporting that the Dolphins may want to step in and recommend the surgery.
Signing Cutler and devoting $10 million of cap space may be a sign that Miami is preparing for a season without their mainstay under center. And while Cutler is statistically coming off his worst season as a pro, the Dolphins may actually be getting a bargain.
Last year was an all-time low for Cutler. He started just five games and went 1-4, only completed 59.1 percent of his passes, and threw more interceptions, 5, than touchdowns, 4. Cutler didn’t play enough last season to qualify for total QBR ratings, but if he had his 33.2 QBR wouldn’t have just been the worst of his career, it would have been the worst in the NFL, coming in 10 points lower than Case Keenum’s 43.4.
But could all of Cutlers woes be washed away by a change of scenory? It may not be that simple.
No, Cutler wasn’t liked very much in the Bears locker room and getting out of town might give him a boost, but there’s more to it than that. Cuttler enjoyed his best season in Chicago with Adam Gase as his offensive coordinator. With Gase Cutler completed 64.4 percent of his passes, the second highest completion percentage of his career. Cutler also tossed for 21 touchdowns and only threw 11 interceptions, the lowest of his career in a complete season.
Cutler’s skill sets, a big arm and gunslinger mentality, fits the system Gase brought to Miami. And with a talented receiver corps that includes Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, and DeVante Parker Cutler will have plenty of targets to throw it too.
Ten million is a lot of money for a team to be spending on a one year stop gap solution, but after making the playoffs last season it would appear that Miami is in win now mode. And while on the surface the money seems like a lot, when you factor in that Cutler made $16 million for not doing anything productive last season, the deal looks like a steal.
As for the severity of Tannehill’s injury, we’ll just have to wait for word from the team. If we can read into this Cutler signing, it’s certainly not looking good.