Jets fans shouldn’t regret losing Jay Cutler
By Chris Stephano
Months after the New York Jets unsuccessfully pursued him, Jay Cutler agreed to terms with the Dolphins. While losing any free agent target to a division rival is frustrating, Jets fans shouldn’t regret that their team failed to sign him.
The NFL is a fickle place. Just ask fans of the New York Jets, who watch their team fluctuate between contending and losing seasons every alternating year like clockwork. The Jets’ pattern of mixed success may soon change. Barring a miraculous 2017 season, they are set to have consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 1995-1996.
While there are many flaws with this current Jets team, undoubtedly their biggest problem remains their continued inability to find a competent and consistent quarterback. Cue the latest example of the NFL’s fickle nature: the Jay Cutler saga.
The former Bears quarterback had announced his intention to retire and to pursue a career in broadcasting. Yet one dramatic injury to Ryan Tannehill later, and Cutler has now decided to end his short lived retirement and to sign with the Miami Dolphins. Making this story even more bizarre is Cutler’s connection to the Jets.
The team that expressed the most interest in Jay Cutler in March was the New York Jets. Five months later, he winds up with the Dolphins.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 6, 2017
Before the Jets settled on Josh McCown as their veteran quarterback, the organization was reportedly pursuing Cutler. No deal ever materialized, resulting in Cutler’s retirement, unretirement, and eventual signing with the Dolphins.
There is no denying that Cutler (208 TD/146 INT/61.9 completion percent) is a far better quarterback than McCown (79 TD/69 INT/59.1 completion percent). What’s more, Cutler at $10 million for one year is certainly a better bargain that McCown at $6 million for one year.
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All that said, Jets fans don’t need to regret that their team lost out on Cutler. Even with Cutler, or twenty Cutler’s for that matter, the Jets players will be watching the NFL Playoffs from their couches come January.
The team has roster holes at multiple positions and needs years of good drafts instead of a veteran quarterback Band-Aid.
It’s also worth noting that McCown has been widely praised as a veteran leader and a solid presence in the locker room. To put it lightly, the perpetually surly Cutler has the opposite reputation. The Jets’ locker room was plagued by chaos and conflict last season, and it will benefit far more with McCown than it would with Cutler.
It doesn’t really matter if the Jets win six games with Cutler or two games with McCown. Regardless, they aren’t a playoff team in 2017. And by ending up with McCown instead of Cutler, the organization saved some cap space, created a better locker room, and gave their young quarterbacks a better opportunity to develop.
The Jets organization makes questionable decisions almost every day. However, when it comes to losing out on Cutler, the Jets and their fans can take comfort knowing the franchise made the right call.
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