ESPN’s Jeff Darlington fired off a series of interesting tweets that tie former Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler to a potential new gig with the Miami Dolphins if Ryan Tannehill’s knee injury needs another surgical repair:
Here’s where it gets interesting: I’m told Cutler is interested in delaying TV gig to play for Gase but it’d need to be starting job/money.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) August 3, 2017
Dolphins could slow play Cutler decision since they are only team, I’m told, Cutler would consider leaving his TV gig for at this point.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) August 3, 2017
Darlington made it clear that the interest is coming from Cutler (and not the Dolphins) at this point, but there’s no denying the potential fit considering his relationship with Adam Gase that dates back to his relatively successful season as the Bears’ offensive coordinator in 2015. Cutler saw his accuracy numbers go up and interception percentage and overall turnover rate go down under Gase’s tutelage.
If Cutler doesn’t make it onto the field, he is scheduled to call the Bears’ third preseason game and their season opener on FOX.
- The first game of the NFL season kicked off last night, but no judgment will be passed here if you didn’t watch the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game between the Cowboys and Cardinals. And if you didn’t watch, you weren’t alone. You can take solace in the fact that 77 percent of our poll participants said they weren’t going to watch last night’s game. I imagine you’re saving yourselves for the real games. Good on you.
- Someone was watching last night, though, as Darren Rovell reports the preseason lid-lifter did a 5.4 overnight rating – which was higher than the Game 6 Stanley Cup clincher on NBC.
- Chicago’s first preseason game isn’t for another week, kicking off August 10 against the Denver Broncos. One of the players worth keeping an eye on is defensive end Jonathan Bullard, who was a third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft who struggled to produce in limited snaps. Over at The Athletic, Kevin Fishbain writes about a bulked-up Bullard and how he looks to make an impact after his first offseason as a professional football player. The hope is that Bullard has beefed up, but without losing the kind of explosiveness that made him an effective defender at Florida. This defensive line rotation is far from set, so Bullard could be in store for a lot of reps if he can flash here and there during the preseason.
- Kordell Stewart is one in a long line of former Bears quarterbacks who faltered during their time in Chicago. And the way he sees it, the line will continue to grow. The Chicago Tribune’s Tim Bannon writes that Stewart is not impressed with how the Bears are handling their quarterback situation. The one-time multi-threat star was critical of the Bears’ tactics during a radio interview, saying the team was doing a “horrible job” at the position. He’s not completely wrong, but looking at his stat line with the Bears (nine games (seven starts), 56.8 quarterback rating, 7 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, 50.2 completion percentage) and you’re reminded he was more of a problem than a solution when he was given the ball.
- One reason Bears quarterbacks have been perpetual disappointments over the years is because the offensive line in charge of protecting them hasn’t always been great. Charles Leno Jr. wants to change that. The free-agent-to-be tells Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times that he wants to be the team’s left tackle “for a long time.” There is hope that the Bears will sign him to an extension, and they would be wise to do so if he can keep up his surprisingly excellent production as a pass blocker.
- Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald has interesting perspectives on two different linebackers from the same draft class who have two distinct and different roles heading into the 2017 season. In one corner, we have Leonard Floyd, the team’s first-round pick in 2016 who is looked to as a game-changing pass rusher for a team that desperately needs one – especially when the team is squaring off against elite quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford. There are a ton of great expectations for Floyd, who could be a building block for Vic Fangio’s defense, but he’ll need to get through a season healthy to reach his potential.
- In the other corner, we have Nick Kwiatkoski, who could find himself in a starting role because of an injury to teammate Danny Trevathan. If it turns out Trevathan has to start the season on the PUP list, it will likely be Kwiatkoski’s job to hold down the fort in his absence. LeGere writes about Kwiatkoski, one of the Bears’ three fourth-round picks from the class of 2016 who could turn out to be a later-round sleeper depending on how he performs in a pinch.
- Kyle Fuller’s lost 2016 has him motivated to show what he can do with a clean bill of health in what could be his final season with the Bears. The first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft has had his flashes of brilliance, but it has otherwise been an unforgettable few seasons. Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that the Bears are happy with where Fuller is in 2017, as he is putting in the kind of time on the practice field that he simply couldn’t do last season.
- The Eagles signed safety Corey Graham to a one-year contract. Graham spent the first five years of his NFL career with the Bears and made a Pro Bowl appearance as a special teamer in 2011. The Bears will take to the road to face Graham and the Eagles in Week 12 on Nov. 26.