Cutler is expected to retire from the NFL this offseason, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports.
The Dolphins lured Cutler out of retirement last season after Ryan Tannehill (knee) went down with a torn ACL. Playing on a one-year, $10 million contract, Cutler struggled to elevate Miami's offense and ultimately finished the 2018 season with 2,666 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 14 games. The 34-year-old quarterback wasn't expected to continue his playing career, so his retirement is more of a formality than anything else.
Gase was able to lure Cutler from the Fox broadcast booth in September to serve as the Dolphins' starter in 2017, but with franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill (knee) on the mend and expected back for the start of next season, the 34-year-old signal caller's marriage with Miami was never bound to be a long-term one. Cutler is set to become a free agent this offseason and has stated that he would entertain keeping his playing career going elsewhere if he's given the opportunity to start, but it's unclear if other teams would be interested in bringing him aboard in that capacity. With a 19:14 TD:INT ratio, 62 percent completion rate and 80.8 passer rating across his 14 starts this past season, Cutler was a below-average starter league-wide.
Cutler will start Sunday's game against the Bills, but backup David Fales is expected to relieve him at some point during the contest, a source informed Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Cutler is set to become a free agent this season and not expected to be retained with franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill (knee) on the mend, so the Dolphins don't have much incentive to keep the 34-year-old in the finale for all four quarters of the finale. Heading into Week 17, Cutler has completed a 62.1 percent of his passes and has posted a 19:14 TD:INT across 13 games this season, numbers that may result in him generating only tepid interest on the open market during the offseason. Cutler has already suggested that he could opt for retirement if other teams don't view him as a starting option in 2018.
Cutler indicated Wednesday that he's open to the possibility of playing in the NFL in 2018, but likely only if he's given the opportunity to start, Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald reports. "I wouldn't want to move again and go somewhere and just to back up," Cutler said.
With Cutler bound for free agency this offseason, it's likely that any interest he would generate as a starter would come outside of Miami, as the team still views the rehabbing Ryan Tannehill (knee) as its top signal caller. Though it wouldn't appear he has a future in the Miami organization, Cutler will still garner the starting nod Week 17 against the Bills as the Dolphins aim to play spoiler for Buffalo's playoff hopes. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, head coach Adam Gase was non-committal earlier this week about Cutler finishing Sunday's game, however, so it's possible Matt Moore (foot) or David Fales could direct the offense at some point during the contest.
Dolphins head coach Adam Gase confirmed that Cutler would start Sunday's game against the Bills, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Gase wouldn't commit to Cutler finishing the contest, however.
The 6-9 Dolphins don't have much at stake in the season finale beyond pride and the opportunity to crush a divisional rival's playoff hopes, but it looks like that will be enough for Gase to at least justify opening the contest with Cutler and the rest of the team's healthy veterans. With Cutler set to become a free agent this offseason and uncertain to keep his career going, the Dolphins could take the opportunity later in the contest to evaluate backup David Fales. Cutler had one of his worst outings of the season in Buffalo two weeks ago, completing 28 of 49 attempts for 274 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions, but a return to a more hospitable climate in Miami should position him well for a bounce back, at least while he remains in the game. Cutler sports a 65.8 percent completion rate, 6.6 yards per attempt and 12:8 TD:INT ratio at home this season compared to a 59.0 percent rate, 5.8 YPA and 7:6 TD:INT on the road.
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