It’s become the biggest story surrounding a quarterback in the NFL.
Will Miami Dolphins signal caller Ryan Tannehill undergo season-ending surgery after injuring his left knee in practice on Thursday? It’s the same knee in which he suffered a partially torn ACL and MCL last season against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 14. The injury forced him to miss the remainder of the year, including the team’s 30-12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild card round of the playoffs.
Tannehill opted not to have a procedure done after the initial injury last December. It remains to be seen whether or not that was the right move, particularly if surgery is an option now after this latest setback. A possible plan B for the team in the immediate aftermath of Tannehill going down came in the form of Jay Cutler.
Adam Gase Reveals Interest in Jay Cutler
Head coach Adam Gase confirmed to Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post that the team has been in contact with the former Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears quarterback.
“He was interested,” Gase told Schad on Saturday. “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.”
The two have previous experience with one another. In fact, Gase’s reputation as a “quarterback whisperer” received further reinforcement when him and Cutler were in Chicago. Gase’s lone season as offensive coordinator with the Bears in 2015 saw Cutler set a career high 92.3 passer rating. He also threw the lowest number of interceptions (11) in a season where he appeared in at least 15 games.
Cutler announced his retirement in May and also revealed his intention to transition into broadcasting, joining Fox Sports beginning this year. These latest revelations regarding his talks with the Dolphins coaching staff appeared to put that career move on hold. At the end of the day, though, such a scenario is likely far-fetched.
Not So Fast?
Per ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, Cutler is leaning towards staying retired rather than joining the Dolphins. Though that sentiment may change if Tannehill indeed needs surgery, Cutler is still intending to begin his broadcasting career in 2017. But Darlington indicated that Gase is pretty convincing if need be and could sway Cutler to South Florida at the end of the day.
For the time being, it remains a fluid situation. The Dolphins have yet to give a definitive announcement regarding Tannehill’s future in 2017. And Gase did hint on Friday that backup Matt Moore is “our quarterback” at the current time. Moore went 2-1 as a starter in the regular season when Tannehill went down last year.
If Cutler isn’t an option moving forward, there are other possibilities for the Dolphins in Tannehill’s absence. Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned and, despite a few lean years and his polarizing stature, is only a few years removed from a Super Bowl appearance. Last Word on Pro Football discussed the idea of Kaepernick joining the Dolphins on Friday.
As of right now, there’s an ever increasing inevitability that Tannehill won’t play in 2017. If that’s the case, and Gase decides Moore isn’t his quarterback, the Dolphins will certainly be in the market for a player at the position ahead of their season opener against the Tampa Bay Bucs. A year removed from making the playoffs for the first time since 2008, a repeat appearance may hinge on their ability to find an adequate replacement for Tannehill.