It’s possible that Jay Cutler regrets his decision to return to the NFL. The 34-year-old suffered cracked ribs in Miami’s 31-28 win over the Jets on Sunday and is not expected to play when the Dolphins take on the Ravens in Baltimore on Thursday night.
Phil Simms can relate. The 61-year-old retired from the NFL in 1993 after 15 seasons with the Giants. Simms, who was approaching 40, was happy. He had won two Super Bowls and achieved a lot in his career.
But then teams came a-calling.
“I had about three chances (to return to the league),” Simms said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “One team came up here to my house and worked me out for two hours. It was like, ‘Wow, how much do I have to show you here that I still can do this?’ They made me an unbelievable offer – more than I’d ever been paid in the NFL – and guaranteed it for two years. It was awesome. And I thought, ‘This is it. This is kind of what I want, and that way I know I’ll be done, and then I’ll go into coaching.’”
When Simms told his wife, however, he didn’t get the response he expected.
“She says, ‘That’s great. We’ll come visit you on weekends,’” Simms recalled. “I said, ‘What?’ (She said), ‘Well, yeah, we’re not leaving. We’re staying here. The kids are in school.’”
Simms hadn’t thought about that. He turned the offer down flat.
“I said, ‘Hey, I’m not doing that live-in-a-hotel thing by myself,’” he said. “That never works out for players. Really, looking back, it’s a good thing it didn’t work out. Fifteen years, that’s a lot of hits. I don’t think I needed two more years of getting beat up or whatever. I’m glad it worked that way.”
Cutler, on the other hand…
“For Jay Cutler, yeah, I’m sure he’s (thinking) ‘Wow, what have I got into?’” Simms said. “When it comes around, all you think about as an athlete is the good side: ‘Okay, I’ll go back, I’ll play, they’re a pretty good team, I’ll lead them to the playoffs – this could be really great.’ And then you forget: man, all the practice, all the toughness, all the adversity. In football, it never goes right. It always goes wrong. You’re always fighting adversity. If the teams wins (but) you play terrible, you’re terrible. You play really well (but) the team somehow loses, you should have made one more play. Things like that.
“So I’m sure he’s in a tough spot right now,” Simms continued. “I don’t know how bad or how long he’s going to be out. But let’s be honest, too: The money is so big, sometimes that’s hard to turn down. You can’t make a rational decision when the money’s that big.”
Miami (4-2) has won three straight games, while Baltimore (3-4) has lost four of five. Thursday’s kickoff from M&T Bank Stadium is slated for 8:25 p.m. ET.