Those are the names of quarterbacks currently in line to start NFL football games in 2017. It’s a sad truth that with so few people on the planet equipped to play starting quarterback in the NFL we are left with a dearth at the most important position in sports. When Cleveland Brown hand-me-downs Hoyer and McCown are set to take starting snaps, you know we’re in dire straits.
The pool of capable passers continues to shrink, with Jay Cutler announcing he will head to a FOX as an in-game analyst.
Cutler joins Tony Romo moving from under center to the booth this year. Their destinations might be similar, but their circumstances are certainly not.
If Romo wanted a job in the NFL right now, he’d have one. The Houston Texans were practically begging the Dallas Cowboys to dump Romo so he could become their missing Super Bowl piece. For as much confidence as John Elway hyped on Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, if Romo were fully committed he might have landed in Denver. Heck, Jerry Jones would have loved for Romo to be a backup if the veteran were willing.
The point is, the NFL wasn’t done with Romo. He just got a better offer.
By all accounts the NFL was done with Cutler.
Look again at the names at the top of this article. Are you telling me Jay Cutler isn’t a better passer than any of those players?
Whether it was a money issue, a personality issue, or his propensity to make boneheaded mistakes on the field, Cutler couldn’t sniff opportunities this offseason.
There was a brief dalliance with the New York Jets who then determined going with injury-prone McCown was the preferred option. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Texans were never interested in a marriage with Cutler, even after Romo ran to the TV booth. Houston drafting Deshaun Watson slammed the speculation shut.
With the lack of options, Cutler moves onto another career. Even his statement Friday tells us it was the NFL that ultimately decided it was done with Cutler, not the other way around:
“I don’t know if retirement is the right word,” Cutler said. “I don’t feel that anyone ever really retires from the NFL. You are either forced to leave, or you lose the desire to do what’s required to keep going. I’m in between those situations at this point in my life.”
Retirement was always an option for a 34-year-old quarterback with plenty of money and a young family that recently moved to Nashville. Yet if an NFL team wanted Cutler, he’d play. His agent said as much.
While Romo would likely only come out of the booth if something catastrophic happened to Dak Prescott in Dallas, Cutler could leap back into the fray if any number of starting quarterbacks went down with an injury.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo noted Friday that Cutler joining a three-man booth with Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis was by design. Should Cutler get an opportunity midseason, it would allow him to seamlessly exit TV without disrupting FOX’s No. 2 broadcast crew.
Not known as a quarterback tutor — which is why a team picks Josh McCown over you — Cutler’s options were starter or television. The NFL told him to try out the TV booth.