The quarterback free agent market has lost one of its options, for the time being. Jay Cutler announced on Friday that he is leaving the NFL to join FOX Sports as a broadcaster. He will be paired with play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt and color commentator Charles Davis to form a three-man booth for the 2017 season.
Adam Schefter reported on Friday that Cutler had some significant discussions with the New York Jets, and “less-promising ones” with the Houston Texans. Everybody seems to think moving to the three-man booth is meant to leave him an out in case an NFL opportunity presents itself. In a statement on this, Cutler said there’s two ways a person leaves the NFL: 1) they’re forced to leave, and 2) they lose the desire to do what’s required to keep going. He said he is somewhere in between those two, which reads like a guy who is leaving one foot out there.
So now, the top quarterbacks on the free agent market includes Colin Kaepernick and Ryan Fitzpatrick. It’s going to be interesting to see how the veteran market shakes out as the summer approaches, and then training camp opens. Barring an injury in the next few weeks, it seems unlikely either quarterback will be signing somewhere before the end of OTAs.
The other interesting thing in this is that Cutler is part of the John Lynch replacement plan for FOX. Lynch was paired with Kevin Burkhardt. Charles Davis replaced him, and now we can add Jay Cutler to that crew.