After eight seasons in Chicago, Jay Cutler is heading to a different locker room, this after being lured out of retirement by the Miami Dolphins.
What can Cutler’s teammates expect from the enigmatic quarterback?
“My two years with Jay, I enjoyed,” Panthers tight end Greg Olsen said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I enjoyed being his teammate. I enjoyed being his friend.”
Olsen played with Cutler in Chicago from 2009-10.
“The thing about Jay, I just don’t think people are used to – especially somebody in such a high-profile position, being an NFL quarterback – I don’t think they’re used to guys who aren’t really too interested in changing and bobbing and weaving and being politically correct and always trying to win every interview,” Olsen said. “He’s just not playing games. That’s just not his priority. It’s who he is. He’s very true to that. And I think the guys on his team, the guys that have really come to know him, respect that. He’s not looking to beg people to like him. He’s not looking to wow everybody with everything he says. He’s not that kind of guy. He’s very true to himself. He is what he is.
“At the end of the day, he’s a highly talented player, he’s competitive as hell, he wants to go out and compete and play well, and I think that situation down in Miami is kind of the perfect storm for him,” Olsen continued. “There’s guys around him, he’s got a coach that obviously he has a very deep level of trust and comfort with – which for him is big – and I think he’s got a good team around him. I think it’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out.”
Olsen wasn’t surprised Cutler returned to football three months into retirement.
“Ten million bucks is very luring,” Olsen said. “It was not a bad contract to come off the couch to. I think the biggest thing on top of that is I think his level of trust and his relationship with (Adam) Gase is obviously one that he holds in high regard. I think that’s pretty clear. I don’t know much about Gase or about their history, but it’s pretty clear that they both have a very mutual level of respect for one another.”
While Miami gave Cutler $10 million, Olsen, 32, remains underpaid. He is slated to make $6.5 million this year – despite posting three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.
Olsen makes less money than Zach Ertz and Charles Clay. Think about that.
While Olsen would like a new contract, he opted against holding out.
“I just didn’t feel like it was necessary for me to make things all about myself at the end, where we had enough things to worry about with a lot going on and getting re-settled now with (interim general manager) Marty (Hurney) coming back,” Olsen said. “I’m just going to try to focus on getting myself as ready as possible to have a good year.”
That was a professional, team-friendly explanation from Olsen, but Brandon Tierney finds his contract absurd. There are ninth and tenth guys in the NBA making more money than Olsen.
Isn’t that a problem?
“Our roster size makes the NFL a very different financial entity with having so many guys on the roster and you add injuries and IR,” Olsen said. “You have a 53-man roster, but it’s not crazy to end up having 60 or so guys actually on the team when you start moving through the course of the year. So I get it. I think football players every year during NBA free agency kind of question (the) path they took, and I think they all have their kids out there playing a different sport. It’s the path we chose, and we don’t feel sorry for ourselves when you put it in reality. But I get where you’re coming from. The business side of sports is never easy.”