The careers of Brett Favre and Peyton Manning have made it very difficult to imagine talented quarterbacks like Tony Romo and Jay Cutler walking away from football before the game has dragged every last opportunity out of them. But Romo and Cutler really are gone, each stepping away from football to join the broadcasting game in 2017.

Romo is with the mothership here at CBS, while Cutler joined FOX Sports as an analyst. And each certainly still had opportunities, including a brief flirtation between Cutler and the Jets before he took the FOX job, which was vacated by now 49ers GM John Lynch.

Cutler, who was released by the Bears in March, has had people question whether he's retiring from the game because of his verbiage (Romo has gotten the same questions) when it comes to the decision, said recently that he didn't even know he had to file retirement paperwork in the first place.

And, he told Adam Schefter on the "Know Them From Adam" ESPN podcast, he'd like to do it, but hasn't been able to get his hands on it.

"Is there actual paperwork?" Cutler asked. "Someone send it to me, because I called the [NLFPA] and they acted like it didn't exist. They were like 'it's just your 401k and all this stuff' ... so [if] there's actual paperwork, someone send it to me, because I'm ready for all this."

There IS actual paperwork and it's really odd that the union would tell him there wasn't. Maybe he called the wrong number? Maybe he was transferred to the wrong department? Or maybe the union simply thinks that Cutler is going to come back at some point and doesn't want to deal with it until he is 100 percent done playing? 

Cutler insists he has walked away, and that even if -- as posed by Schefter -- the Raiders lose Derek Carr to an injury in December while in the thick of the playoff hunt, he isn't diving back into football. Cutler also indicated he thinks Romo might be "leaving the door open" to play for the Cowboys.  

"If it's in December, I'm probably not in shape to play football anyway. Quarterback just isn't one of those positions that you jump in to play," Cutler said. "To say, hey, we're going to sign you on Monday, we need you to play on Sunday as a quarterback, that's so challenging. I think Tony [Romo]'s situation, with possibly leaving the door open for Dallas, if that's what he's doing, is a little more realistic, because he knows the system, he knows the guys, he's comfortable in the building. 

"To go someplace completely foreign and try to learn a whole new system and develop timing with guys, especially with a team that's in a playoff race, that's a tall order."

The in-shape factor is pretty real here. Cutler's an athlete so he's not going to turn into some fat slob overnight, but traveling and broadcasting games for several months is a whole different ballgame than practicing with an NFL team. Although he does have some free time, as he pointed out, and his wife, Kristin Cavallari, might already be sick of him.

Asked what he would have done if he didn't take the job with FOX, Cutler said he wasn't sure and didn't really have a plan other than taking time off and making Cavallari mad by being around too much.

"Oh gosh. My wife would hate me, I'm pretty sure about that. I think she already wants me to get a part time job. Only working 17 days out of the year isn't going to cut it," Cutler said. "I don't know. I would've gotten bored. I'm sure I would have missed football even more than I probably will this fall with the new job. It would have been tough I'm sure. There are a lot of guys out there when they retire, their whole sense of self worth is really wrapped around football. A lot of us, it's all we've ever done." 

Even for non-quarterbacks, the home fatigue factor is real. For Cutler, he'll at least have a long stretch of time where he'll be breaking down film and traveling to games. And if he thinks he has too much free time, he can always just get to work on that retirement paperwork.