The 34-year-old put off early retirement and the broadcasting life to sign a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday. On Monday, the team made the announcement official.
Cutler's contract is worth $10 million fully guaranteed with incentives, Rapoport reported on Inside Training Camp Live. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported that the incentives could add up to as much as $3 million.
The move reunites Cutler with former offensive coordinator Adam Gase. During their one season together in 2015, Cutler experienced a late-career renaissance and developed a strong bond with the 39-year-old head coach. Rapoport noted earlier on Sunday that Gase made a serious push for Cutler after it became clear that Ryan Tannehill's knee injury could lead to season-ending surgery.
While Tannehill has yet to make a decision regarding surgery on his injured knee, the desperate attempt for Cutler's services could provide some context. The Dolphins are a team that made the playoffs with a combination of Tannehill and Matt Moore under center a year ago and believe the roster is good enough to win now.
Cutler seemed comfortable with his post-career decision, telling a Chicago-area radio station that it was a "permanent" retirement. However, there was always an out clause for the former first-round pick. As NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported back in May, Cutler was inserted into a two-man booth already featuring Charles Davis and Kevin Burkhardt. This meant Cutler could easily slide back out if an enticing situation presented itself without disrupting the on-camera chemistry.
Unlike former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and Jim Nantz at CBS, it was a lineup never set in stone.
Cutler's success in Miami is no guarantee. His final NFL season saw him play in just five games with a 59.1 percent passer rating, four touchdown passes and five interceptions. On the bright side, he joins an organization loaded with weapons at the receiver position, including catch-machine Jarvis Landry and deep threat Kenny Stills.
He also walks into a situation far different than the one he left in Chicago. Largely misunderstood in the Windy City, Cutler also had some painful waning years with the Bears. With a constantly-shifting coaching staff seemingly always eager to get rid of his balky, seven-year contract, Cutler's dry sense of humor and alternative style were interpreted as apathy by the masses.
Gase gives Cutler a chance to be himself and play in a system that helped Cutler significantly cut down on his turnover-prone ways.
Cutler threw for 3,659 yards, 21 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions with Gase back in 2015. By comparison, Tannehill logged 2,995 yards, 19 touchdowns and 12 picks in 13 games a season ago.