The Miami Dolphins signed Jay Cutler to a one-year deal Sunday, but if the Dolphins couldn’t lure Cutler out of retirement, they may have turned to Tim Tebow, Christian Ponder, or, yes, Colin Kaepernick.
But they didn’t have to. They got their No. 1 option.
“Jay Cutler was Adam Gase’s guy all along,” Miami Herald Dolphins beat writer Adam Beasley said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “If he had had the relationship with Colin Kaepernick that he had with Jay Cutler, this would be a different story today. Colin Kaepernick would probably be the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins.”
With the regular season just over a month away – Miami opens against Tampa Bay on Sept. 10 – familiarity with Gase’s symptom was critical. Gase was Cutler’s offensive coördinator in 2015, when Cutler completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 3,659 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.
“They want somebody who knows their offense,” Beasley said. “If you bring in Kaepernick, you’re starting from scratch. Cutler knows the offense. He’s had success with Gase.”
That means Kaepernick remains a free agent. Beasley, though, does not believe Miami blackballed the beleaguered quarterback-turned-activist.
“I don’t think here it was a matter of the personality, of the activism,” Beasley said. “Certainly if there was a team that was going to accept him, it would be the Dolphins. Stephen Ross is actually one of the most progressive owners when it comes to those sort of issues . . . when it comes to fighting racism and being socially active. He came out and said, ‘I hope any team who thinks they can win with Colin Kaepernick will sign him. I hope that those issues aren’t really holding him back.’
“So I think Cutler’s familiarity with Gase was the reason it happened,” Beasley continued, “Tebow was a pipe dream. That wasn’t going to happen. I guess if it would, the only argument (would be), ‘Hey, Adam Gase was his coach, and they won a playoff game.’”
Of course, it’ll be interesting to see what happens if Cutler has a career year. Remember: Cutler has never thrown for 30 touchdowns in a single season and has thrown for 4,000+ yards just once. What if he reaches those numbers in 2017? Would the Dolphins re-sign Cutler and cut Ryan Tannehill loose?
“I don’t think the Dolphins are anywhere close to thinking about that yet,” Beasley said. “They just want Ryan to get healthy. I think at some point he’ll finally have that surgery that he probably should have had back in December and then they’ll reassess. But yeah, it’s a fascinating time down here. This team is never boring, is it?”
It certainly isn’t. In other Dolphins news, star wideout Jarvis Landry is under police investigation for possible battery charges stemming from an incident with his girlfriend this past March. The Dolphins, however, are not overly concerned.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, (they’re) probably a 2 or a 3,” Beasley said. “Certainly it’s an issue when the state attorney’s office is looking into even an allegation of domestic violence, but his girlfriend came out today with a strong statement saying, ‘He never laid a finger on me. He never would lay a finger on me. This is a non-story.’ I don’t see how a case is made here. So again, I wasn’t there that night. I don’t know all the details. But everything I’ve read, everything I’ve been told, says to me this is probably not going to be one of these huge stories that you hear about. If the Dolphins thought he was an abusive spouse or boyfriend or whatever you want to say, he wouldn’t be playing for the team right now. He’d be suspended.”