Barry Jackson

Dolphins’ 2018 cap space even tighter after Cutler deal; More Cutler notes

Miami Dolphins GM Chris Greer and VP Mike Tannenbaum talk to the media about the upcoming season and the NFL draft at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Miami, Florida, April 19, 2017.
Miami Dolphins GM Chris Greer and VP Mike Tannenbaum talk to the media about the upcoming season and the NFL draft at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Miami, Florida, April 19, 2017.

A new six-pack of Jay Cutler and Cutler fallout nuggets, after yesterday’s Cutler six-pack:

• The Dolphins were already in an unenviable salary cap position before Ryan Tannehill was injured and Cutler was signed. It’s worse now.

Miami’s 2018 salary commitments are just $3 million under the projected $174 million cap and the Dolphins now have lost most of the available 2017 cap space that they hoped to carry over to next spring.

With Cutler signing a one-year, $10 million deal, Jason Fitzgerald – a cap expert and founder of - said that leaves Miami with “around $7.5M in cap room. They will lose about $1 million to the practice squad and another $1 million when rosters go to 53. Thus far they have two players on IR, so that will be close to a $1M loss as well. So I’d consider their effective cap room to be about $4.5 million.”

That $4.5 million could be carried over to 2018, giving the Dolphins less than $8 million in projected space.

That limited space (about $4.5 million once Labor Day rolls around) would seemingly make it difficult to extend Jarvis Landry before his self-imposed Sept. 10 deadline.

“They could extend Landry but would need to be somewhat creative and use a big signing bonus to make the numbers work,” Fitzgerald said.

There is nothing percolating on the Landry contract front at the moment, and owner Stephen Ross already has said the franchise tag in 2018 is an option.

• The Tannehill/Cutler numbers are eerily similar in some respects. Cutler has an 85.7 career passer rating; Tannehill’s is 86.5.

Over the last 16 games each started, Tannehill has 21 TDs, 13 picks and 3890 yards passing, while Cutler has 19, 13 and 3840.

Since Tannehill came into the league in 2012, both he and Cutler have completed 63 percent of their passes and Tannehill’s TD-to-INT ratio is just one tenth of one percentage point better.

• Gase’s last impression of Cutler was very good: He had passer ratings of 117, 93.4, 100.2 and 97.5 in his last four games for Gase in 2015.

• But his five games last year were generally poor: 76.2 rating in a loss to Houston, 74.9 in a loss to Philadelphia, 55.1 in a loss to Tampa Bay and 81.5 in a loss to the Giants. He played well (100.5) in a win over Minnesota. But Chicago didn’t top 20 points in any of Cutler’s five games last year.

• Per ESPN, Cutler will be Miami’s 18th starting quarterback since Dan Marino. Among AFC teams, only Cleveland has had more since 2000.

And speaking of Marino, Cutler called it "awesome" to have Marino (a Dolphins executive) around and talking to him Tuesday. "To have a dude like that at your disposal, you have to use him," Cutler said.

By the way, Tannehill was helpful to Cutler during Tuesday’s practice.

“It’s a tough situation for him,” Cutler said. “I’ve been hurt before. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re going to have a great year and something like this is a setback; but he’s been great. This is Day 1 … I guess yesterday was Day 1; but since I got here yesterday, he’s been supportive and helping out the receivers. He’s vocal. He just wants to help this team win games.”

• Fox’s Terry Bradshaw, at Super Bowl media day earlier this year, said, via The Detroit Free Press: "I mean, how about a little excitement (out of Cutler)? He's just not an upper-echelon quarterback. He just isn't. He hasn't proven it. He can't carry a team; he never has. End of story."

But CBS’ Phil Simms told WQAM’s Joe Rose and Zach Krantz on Tuesday: “No question he has tremendous talent. Two things about Jay: He can really throw it and he's probably a level above Ryan Tannehill in terms of throwing it. Also has tremendous feet. A good athlete, never gets credit for that.

“Can really move around and buy himself time. Adam Gase is the right man for Jay Cutler.... There are so many people rooting against him. Maybe they didn't like the way he acted in Chicago.”

Here’s my post today with Dolphins personnel notes, including Jakeem Grant explaining how his Jay Cutler dream was fulfilled, and Bill Belichick heaping praise on a Dolphins great..... Here are some UM football nuggets from today.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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