You’ve got to admire Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase. He’s playing with house money (a lot of it) and he’ll get away with it.
Would this have been Ryan Tannehill’s year to go over the top and make the Dolphins a legitimate competitor to division-rival New England? Not anymore, if ever. His knee injury and possible need for surgery torched that. If he could return at the start of 2018, he’d have missed 19 consecutive starts. Get ready to put that house on the market.
The price for Tannehill this year? A salary of $17.95 million. The price for his replacement, Jay Cutler? $10 million. That’s a lot of money for modest production.
Gase gets credit for Tannehill’s showing last year as the Dolphins made the playoffs for the first time since 2008. He also gets credit for Cutler’s time in Chicago, which helped steer the Dolphins into officially signing him Monday.
Cutler, known for a prickly personality and a dour demeanor, seemed charming enough while meeting the Miami media on Monday. This apparently bought him enormous good will (which will last until the first fumble). While the Era of Good Feeling persists, allow this cloud to rain on the parade.
You got a quarterback with three winning seasons in 11 years in the league, a quarterback with one playoff victory (admittedly one more than Tannehill). One Pro Bowl selection. Two-time NFL leader in interceptions thrown. Career passer rating: 85.7 (Tannehill is 86.5 – Matt Moore, now bumped as the likely starter again, has an 88.8 rating over his six years with the Dolphins).
Cutler is the fellow who as late as May was telling Chicago radio stations his retirement was permanent.
Gase gets the easy way out of an unfortunate situation. Nicely played, coach.
If the Cutler experiment flops, that’s Gase’s out for a poor season and he can say the return of Tannehill will eventually right the ship, buy him a year. If Cutler should somehow have the success that has historically eluded him, the Dolphins can stick with him for another year or two and look for their next QB while ditching Tannehill. And Gase will look like the quarterback whisperer.