First and foremost I really hope the Dolphins organization and Ryan Tannehill decide to get the ACL surgery. It was reported today that Tannehill has a partially torn ACL at this moment. Yes having that surgery means he is out all of this year and may miss a few games next September should he still be a member of this franchise. But for Ryan's health long-term and for the fact if Ryan is still around and a member of this team next year let's not be going through this again a year from now. Ryan has given everything to this franchise since joining them in 2012 and taken a beating like few could have taken in that time. He has earned this surgery to get better and I hope all parties involved see that.
Now on to Jay Cutler and the positives here with this signing are this; he knows the style of offense Adam Gase runs and played under Gase recently back in 2015. Also, Cutler is coming off major surgery an labrum injury but he didn't take a beating last year or many hits so he should be rested and ready to go. The negatives though are he is coming off a major surgery and what shape is he in conditioning wise as well as arm strength wise.
Looking at Cutler's recent history you almost have to throw out his 2016 season as he only appeared in 5 games total and he had literally no help around him in those few games. His offensive line was terrible and other than Alshon Jeffery no weapons at wide receiver for him to throw to. In Miami Cutler is surrounded by weapons like Stills, Landry, Parker, Thomas, and Ajayi. The only concern for Miami is the offensive line as the left guard position is a huge question mark and the Dolphins may not have anyone currently on the roster to start there now that Ted Larsen is out for many months. Keeping Cutler upright, healthy, and with a clean jersey avoiding hits is now priority #1, #2, and #3 for this front office, coaching staff, and offensive line. In 2017 Miami will only go as far as Jay Cutler will take them.
At the end of the day this situation was horrible and there was never going to be a good outcome. Nobody is going to sit here and say Miami signing Jay Cutler on August 6th is a great thing and the outlook for the season is now all sunshine and rainbows. Losing your starting quarterback to most likely a season ending injury one week into training camp is just awful. Unlike Minnesota last year when Teddy Bridgewater went down Miami didn't have to trade a 1st round pick to find a replacement. They were able to sign a player who knows the offense and has worked for the head coach and play-caller before. So while this situation isn't great and downright bad, the best possible outcome Miami could have had happened in the signing of Cutler.
Do expectations for this season change now that Tannehill is gone and the tandem of Cutler/Moore are the Dolphins quarterbacks; of course. I am not going to lie to you and say otherwise. This was probably a 10 to 11 win team and now if they win 8 or 9 I would say the season is a success and 8 to 9 wins may not even be realistic. The season totally hinges on Jay Cutler at this point.
One other thing to consider here and this is a big "WHAT IF" game I am about to play so just play along. WHAT IF this upcoming season Jay Cutler at 34 has a big year? 34 is not that old these days for quarterbacks we have seen the likes of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Bret Favre and others play close to 40 or into their 40's. WHAT IF Cutler has a big year, does Gase and this organization keep him around for the 2018 season and cut Tannehill to open up cap space to pay someone like Landry? And then draft a quarterback to groom behind Cutler? While I don't think this would happen IF Cutler had a big year this year I would not rule it out also.
Remember one thing though, Jay Cutler did not come here to be a back-up quarterback. The Miami Dolphins didn't just pay Jay Cutler $10 million to be a back-up Quarterback. Jay Cutler is the Miami Dolphins starting quarterback for 2017 and the fate of the 2017 season rides on the arm of Jay Cutler. In 2017 it is CUTLER OR BUST!
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