, the 34-year-old quarterback who coach talked out of retirement to take over for injured starter , tantalizes with his talent and polarizes with his personality.
Cutler, an 11-year veteran who spent three seasons with Denver and eight with Chicago before retiring, accepted a job with FOX to join its broadcast team for the upcoming season but the Gase changed his mind.
Before retiring in May, Cutler and his wife, , a reality TV personality known for ’s “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County,” and its spinoff, “The Hills,” made waves on social media in March when she posted a photo of a bare-bottom Cutler gazing thoughtfully at the ocean while the couple was vacationing in Mexico.
Cutler, who was Gase’s quarterback in 2015 when Gase served as Chicago’s offensive coordinator, is an accomplished player. He made the in 2008 and in 2015.
But the strong-armed Cutler, who most would consider an above-average quarterback, is viewed as an enigma in some NFL circles, and a lightning rod in others.
One former teammate questioned his leadership skills while other players have wondered about his toughness.
Regardless, sometime in the next few weeks it’s expected that Cutler, who a source told the Sun Sentinel agreed to a one-year deal with the Dolphins on Sunday, will become Miami’s starting quarterback, replacing Tannehill, who is expected to be sidelined for weeks at the very least after re-injuring his left knee on Thursday.
Dolphins quarterback , whose $1.75 million salary is paltry compared to the reported $10 million Cutler is going to make this season, is expected to revert back to backup duties.
At his best, Cutler, who has a 68-71 record as a starter is a playmaker capable of sparking an offense.
At his worst, however, Cutler might be considered unsettling.
Such a reputation stems from inferences he’s aloof, put forth by former teammate Antrel Rolle, thoughts that he was once overpaid, an idea floated by ex-teammate , accusations he quit on his Chicago teammates in the 2010 game against Green Bay despite having a serious knee injury, and suggestions he’s difficult, which some say is evidenced by video of Cutler apparently ignoring former Chicago offensive coordinator during a 2012 game against Dallas on Monday Night Football.
Rolle, a teammate in 2015, described Cutler as “laid back” during an NFL Network interview in April. But it wasn’t in a good way.
“Like I said, I just honestly feel like he would get much better results if he involved himself more in the team collectively, with all individuals,” Rolle said.
In 2014, Urlacher, a likely future Hall of Famer and Cutler’s teammate for four years (2009-12), hinted that Cutler, the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback that year, was overpaid.
“Financially, he is one of the elite guys in the NFL,” Urlacher told a Chicago radio station. “He just hasn’t produced like an elite quarterback.”
And when Cutler, who was diagnosed with a sprained ligament in his left knee, sat out most of the second half of that 2010 title game, which Chicago lost, a host of current and former NFL players took to social media to criticize him.
Despite all of that, Cutler seemed to be Gase’s No. 1 choice after Tannehill got injured, and soon, it seems, he’ll be the Dolphins’ starting quarterback.
Cutler made five starts for Chicago last season, throwing four touchdowns and five interceptions with a 78.1 passer rating in an injury-shortened year. He missed five games due to a thumb injury and had surgery in December to repair the labrum in his right (throwing) shoulder.
Cutler went 51-51 as the Bears starter, and is Chicago’s all-time leader in passing yards (23,443) and touchdowns (154). He had 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a career-best 92.3 passer rating in 2015 under Gase.
Cutler has a reputation as someone who isn’t afraid to throw the ball deep, what some would call a gunslinger. He also has a reputation as someone who sometimes frustrates coaches because he has a knack for holding on to the ball too long and taking unnecessary sacks.
Cutler was among the first names to surface after Tannehill injured the same knee that sustained anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligament sprains in December and caused him to miss the final three regular-season games last year as well as the wild-card playoff game against Pittsburgh.
Tannehill had an MRI on his left knee and it showed no structural damage, but Gase has said that the Dolphins are awaiting additional medical opinions. Tannehill and the Dolphins elected not to have surgery after he was originally injured last season against Arizona, opting instead for rehabilitation and stem cell treatment.
If Tannehill has surgery this time around it’s believed he’d have a recovery time of between eight and 12 months. It’s unclear whether the Dolphins and/or Tannehill have decided on a course of treatment — surgery or rehabilitation — for his knee.
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