With each passing news cycle, it’s feeling more and more likely that Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill won’t play this year. Although the Dolphins have been very tight lipped about Tannehill’s status, the Dolphins are now openly speaking about potential replacements who surely wouldn’t be added to the roster if Tannehill were expected back in a matter of weeks.
On Saturday, coach Adam Gase confirmed that the team has spoken to retired quarterback Jay Cutler, who played for Gase when he was the offensive coordinator two years ago in Chicago.
“One time,” Gase said regarding his own communications with Cutler. “All I asked him was if he was interested. That was it.”
So what did he say?
“He was interested,” Gase replied. “I think he’s just trying to figure out everything. You don’t expect this to happen. I don’t think he looked at our situation like, ‘Oh, this was going to happen.’ So it was a surprise and I think he has a lot of things to think through.”
Gase made it clear that the team will be adding a quarterback, but that who it will be will depend on whether Tannehill is or isn’t lost for the year.
Whatever they do, it makes sense to explore all options in order to get the best possible deal. Cutler will surely want at least as much as Mike Glennon got from the Bears ($16 million per year), maybe more. Perhaps Cutler will accept less if he thinks the Dolphins will sign someone else.
It also could be cheaper to trade for a quarterback. When the Vikings acquired Sam Bradford a year ago, they gave up significant draft capital but they spent only $7 million for the full season.
However it plays out, time is of the essence. And not because the new quarterback will have to learn Miami’s offense. Gase will have to adapt Miami’s offense to the new quarterback, and then teach it to the rest of the team.
That’s how Gase has done it in the past, from borrowing Navy and Air Force plays when Tim Tebow became the starter in Denver to adopting the Indianapolis offense when Gase became the offensive coordinator with Peyton Manning in 2013, to coming up with the right way to get the most out of Cutler in 2015 to coming up with the right way to get the most out of Tannehill in 2016.
Whoever the Dolphins settle on, Gase and the rest of the staff will then devise the best possible offense to suit whoever will be playing. That doesn’t mean it definitely will work. But that’s definitely the way it will happen.