In May, Jay Cutler decided he was done playing football and joined Fox Sports as a game analyst. Now, only three months later, Cutler’s commitment to the network is reportedly wavering, and he could soon end his retirement and sign with the Miami Dolphins.

Dolphins head coach Adam Gase confirmed Cutler’s interest to the Palm Beach Post:

“He was interested,” Gase said. “I think he’s trying to figure out everything. I mean, you don’t expect this to happen. I don’t think he looked at our situation. He was surprised and he has things to work through.”

Cutler to the Dolphins makes a fair amount of sense. Starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s knee injury might keep him out all season, and Miami’s next best in-house option is longtime backup Matt Moore. Gase was Cutler’s offensive coordinator for much of the QB’s time in Chicago, and the two apparently have a good relationship.

But while joining the Dolphins could appeal to Cutler in the short term, he risks damaging his broadcasting prospects long-term. Fox handed Cutler an analyst position on the network’s No. 2 broadcast team, despite his lack of TV experience, and there’s certainly no guarantee he’d find a comparable job down the road. These gigs don’t open up too often, and there are typically many analysts vying for them when they do. Cutler lucked into a very cushy situation and if he gives it up now, he might never get it back.

Cutler ditching his analyst job just as the season approaches would also be sure to bug the execs at Fox, who would have to scramble to replace him. The network has been operating all offseason on the assumption Cutler is aboard, shaping their broadcaster lineup accordingly. If Cutler bails at the last minute, Fox still has Charles Davis alongside Kevin Burkhardt, but they’ll have to scrap the plans for a three-man booth they’ve nurtured all summer, just as the preseason is starting. The bosses there would be entitled to hold a grudge against Cutler, which could harm his prospects of getting another shot there in the future.

You have to imagine that by this point both Fox and the Dolphins just want Cutler to make a decision so they can move forward one way or the other. If the team needs a quarterback, it’s going to want to get on that. And if the network needs an analyst, it’s running out of time.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com, the Hartford Courant, Baseball Prospectus, Land of 10 and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

  • Harry M.

    Fox has to know that was a risk they were taking by hiring him though. At no time did Cutler say he was really done with football. He left that door wide open.

  • footballfan

    Bad move by Cutler as he was lucky FOX signed him to begin with and put him on the B team. I would move Davis back with Brenneman as he is not B team worthy as he is an awful analyst and hire Solomon Wilcots or Ron Jaworski who are available and pair them with Burkhardt. They are veteran announcers, and not annoying and Cutler blew a chance at a new career. Dolphins should sign RGIII as Cutler will suck it up for them as QB as he would have in the booth for FOX. CBS got the better deal with Romo on the A team with Nantz but FOX is awful with it’s announcing teams and game graphics.

  • sportsfan365

    The Dolphins weren’t going to do much this season anyway, thus at least this will add some interest. A better question to ask is whether Cutler did enough rehab on his previous injury to warrant paying him big money to step in. Somehow I think prepping for an announcer position isn’t the same as prepping to play football at the highest level.

  • Pingback: Jay Cutler leaves Fox, signs with the Miami Dolphins for one year, $10 million()