Dolphins reportedly bringing Jay Cutler out of retirement on one-year, $10M deal

What seemed like an obvious conclusion is becoming reality: Jay Cutler is going to end up playing football in 2017 and he is going to reunite with Adam Gase in Miami. 

The question isn't if, but simply when, as multiple reports indicate the two sides are closing in on a one-year deal that will allow Cutler to leave Fox Sports to replace Ryan Tannehill, who suffered a knee injury on Thursday in practice. Cutler left football this offseason to join Fox's NFL broadcasting team.

According to Adam Schefter, the deal is a one-year contract worth $10 million

Tannehill injured his left knee back in Week 14 of the 2016 season but ultimately elected not to have surgery on what was diagnosed as a partially torn ACL. Hindsight is always clear, but that decision appears to have been a very poor choice, as Tannehill injured the knee again early in training camp during a non-contact situation while wearing a brace. 

At the time of the initial injury, Dolphins coach Adam Gase reportedly reached out to Peyton Manning as possible help to replace Tannehill. The Cutler connection for Gase here was very obvious: he coached Cutler in 2015 when he was the offensive coordinator for the Bears. That season featured Cutler playing arguably the most efficient stretch of football during his Chicago tenure. 

Before the Dolphins could even determine the severity of Tannehill's injury, folks were clamoring for Colin Kaepernick as a replacement at quarterback in Miami. The reality is that Cutler always made more sense given his history with Gase

Cutler's contract presents a pretty interesting situation for the Dolphins as well. He is very clearly just a single-year rental and reportedly wanted to be careful about how he handled the situation with respect to Tannehill. 

But if Cutler manages to perform well for the Dolphins and -- who knows -- take them back to the playoffs, things could get weird going forward. Tannehill's contract has a pretty significant out for the Dolphins following 2017. His dead cap number drops from $24 million to just over $4 million and the Dolphins could theoretically decide they want to move on from him with minimal repercussions. 

For now those discussions can be tabled, though, with the Dolphins needing to see how Cutler performs before making any decisions.

Cutler previously said he would be unlikely to return to the NFL because there wasn't an ideal situation for him. Miami presents just that: a familiar coach, a one-year contract, a potential playoff team and an obvious need for a quarterback.

The news is a nightmare for Tannehill, but the Dolphins have to consider themselves lucky they have a parachute of sorts in the form of Cutler. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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