It makes sense that Jay Cutler is contemplating retirement. In fact, I would be surprised if he doesn’t call it quits.
Cutler turns 34 on April 29. He has played 11 seasons and suffered numerous injuries, including a torn labrum that ended his 2016 campaign.
He has made over $100 million, has three small children and a wife who’s a successful TV personality.
He doesn’t need to play anymore.
If he could have worked it out with a team like the Houston Texans, who appear to be one good quarterback away from serious Super Bowl contention, that would have made sense.
Actually, the Texans did express mild interest in Cutler, but coach Bill O’Brien preferred Tom Savage. After last year’s Brock Osweiler debacle, Houston’s front office wanted to defer to O’Brien, and the Cutler talks fizzled.
The Jets, who were seriously interested, do not make sense for a guy like Cutler, whose sole remaining motivation likely is a chance at a ring. Plus, New York has already moved on, signing veteran Josh McCown, after Cutler — who initially dragged his feet with the Jets — canceled a visit to New York for personal reasons.
Other than Houston, there really isn’t a contender in need of a starting quarterback.
Again, money isn’t an issue. Remember, Cutler was the 11th overall pick of the 2006 NFL draft long before the league and the NFLPA collectively bargained a rookie salary cap.
After the Broncos traded him to Chicago, Cutler signed a lucrative extension in October 2009. He later inked a monster seven-year deal in 2014 that contained $54 million in guaranteed money.
Not everyone is able to leave the game both financially and physically able to enjoy retirement, but Cutler would seem to qualify.
Cutler did suffer numerous injuries — concussions, thumb, shoulder, groin, ankle, knee sprain — that forced him to miss time over the past seven years. He has been sacked over 300 times.
Add it all up and it’s easy to understand why Cutler would lean towards retirement.
So what would be next? Could he follow in the footsteps of Tony Romo and head to a TV booth as an analyst?
Over the years, Cutler improved dramatically as a public speaker. His weekly news conferences were some of the best parts of the John Fox era — which tells you everything you need to know about news conferences in the John Fox era. Of course, Cutler was totally inaccessible away from the podium, but that’s not going to scare off television executives.
I firmly expect some kind of second act to Cutler’s football career, but I don’t expect it to be on the field.