Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Even though Jay Cutler says he made a good decision to come out of retirement, he may call it quits again soon.
The 34-year-old Cutler will start in the finale to the Miami Dolphins' disappointing season Sunday against Buffalo, and he said Wednesday he hasn't decided whether he wants to play a 13th NFL season in 2018.
A return to Miami as a backup seems unlikely. Cutler delayed the start of a broadcasting career in August to join the Dolphins when quarterback Ryan Tannehill suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Tannehill is expected to return as the starter next season, and Cutler said playing in 2018 likely would appeal to him only if he's the starter.
"Yeah, I think so," he said. "I wouldn't want to move again and go somewhere just to back up. ... A lot of these decisions are out of players' control."
Why might he want to return next year?
"I love playing football," Cutler said. "You can only do it for so long. Everyone has some point in their career that they can't play anymore. Whether it's your decision or someone else's decision, it happens."
Cutler's inconsistency this season mirrored the Dolphins' — and vice versa. He ranks 26th in the NFL in quarterback rating, and 29th in yards per attempt. Miami (6-9) ranks 26th in points and 27th in yards.
Cutler has lived in a hotel during his entire stay in Miami, while his wife and children remained back home in Nashville. Even so, he's glad he came back.
"It was a great experience," he said. "It's a really good locker room, really good coaches, great organization, great owner. I had a really good time."
No so for coach Adam Gase, who said he anticipates a "horrible" offseason stewing about the many what-ifs of a disappointing season.
The Dolphins were eliminated from the playoff race with a loss Sunday at Kansas City.
Coming off a 10-win season in 2016 that ended an eight-year postseason drought, the Dolphins didn't make the most of their talent, Gase said.
"I think we all feel that way," he said. "That's why the offseason is a horrible experience to go through when you have a situation like this, where you start going back through and start telling yourself, 'I should have done this. I should have done this. Maybe I shouldn't have called this.' You have to be extremely hard on yourself so you make sure you don't make those mistakes again."
Gase said the collective disappointment is shared by executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum, general manager Chris Grier and owner Stephen Ross. The Dolphins still haven't won a postseason game since Ross first bought an ownership stake in 2008.
"He does everything he can to be supportive to us and give us everything we possibly need," Gase said. "For me, and I know Mike and Chris feel the same, you feel like you let him down. He's given us so much, and we have to find a way to be more consistent."
Cutler will start the finale, said Gase, who hedged only slightly regarding whether he'll play the entire game.
"We'll see how the game goes," Gase said. "Jay hasn't done anything to come out. There's no reason for him to come out of the game right now."