Columns NFL

Jay Cutler, not Colin Kaepernick, was right choice for reeling Dolphins

Jay Cutler
Jesse Reed
Written by Jesse Reed

Forget about politics. Forget about social issues. Jay Cutler, not Colin Kaepernick was absolutely the best fit for the Miami Dolphins from a football perspective.

It’s being reported that Cutler will sign a one-year deal with the Dolphins.

At this point Miami appears destined to be without Ryan Tannehill for the year with another injury to his left knee. In the wake of this injury, the Fins weren’t left with many good options.

They did discuss Kaepernick as an option. But once Jay Cutler reached out to let them know he would consider holding off on retirement to play, there wasn’t much talk of Kaepernick as a viable choice in Miami any more.

And while some would argue Kaepernick is better than Cutler, he’s not better for the Dolphins, who made the right call pursuing Cutler as their primary option. There are a couple of good reasons for this, which we’ll break down briefly here.

First and foremost, Cutler knows Gase’s offensive system. He won’t need a lot of extra time to learn the playbook or get acclimated to Gase’s coaching style. It’s all built in from the time he spent as Gase’s quarterback in Chicago in 2015. Which, not coincidentally, happens to be one of Cutler’s best seasons as a professional.

In 15 games that season, Cutler completed 64.4 percent of his passes (second-highest total of his career) for 3,659 yards with 21 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions. He wasn’t pushing the ball into coverage as often as we’ve seen in the past. And his stats were all the more impressive considering he was playing without his top receiver, Alshon Jeffery, for half the year.

The second main reason Cutler is the right choice over Kaepernick is that he fits the style of play the Dolphins are used to more than the former San Francisco 49ers passer.

In his entire career, Kaepernick has eclipsed 60 percent completion rate just twice. For his career, he’s a 59.8-percent passer.

He’s much more likely to take off and run for a positive gain than he is to hang in the pocket for that final second to deliver a strike to an open receiver. Reading defenses before the snap has never been his forte, and while he does a good job taking care of the ball he’s just not a pocket passer. Period.

Cutler has his flaws. He throws too many interceptions. He isn’t the greatest at anticipating when receivers will break open, relying more on his gun of an arm to deliver passes when he sees open receivers. But he’ll also be walking into a situation where there is a ton of offensive talent around him, playing for a coach he’s been successful with in the past.

So, while there are many out there frustrated that Kaepernick remains unemployed at this time it would be wrong to say the Dolphins made the wrong choice.

About the author

Jesse Reed

Jesse Reed

Managing Editor here at Sportsnaut. Featured on Yardbarker, Foxsports.com and MSN.com, and formerly was a breaking news writer/NFL analyst for Bleacher Report.