Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler may be leaning toward retirement and making the jump to the broadcasting after 11 seasons in the NFL.
Jeff Dickerson of ESPN reports that while Cutler has not officially announced his retirement, he did audition with FOX Network in Los Angeles last Thursday for a possible role in the broadcast booth.
FOX is searching for a new analyst to work alongside Kevin Burkhardt after John Lynch left to become the San Francisco 49ers’ general manager earlier this offseason.
Cutler’s knowledge of the NFC, following an eight-year stint in Chicago, is a positive since FOX broadcasts the NFC package of games.
Cutler, who was released by the Bears on March 9, had conversations with the New York Jets and Houston Texans prior to the draft, but was not offered a contract.
If he does join FOX, Cutler would be the second high-profile quarterback to leave the playing field for the broadcast booth after former Cowboys star Tony Romo joined CBS last month.
Cutler holds almost every passing record in Bears franchise history, though he likely will be remembered for leading Chicago to only one playoff appearance in eight seasons. The veteran quarterback played in just five games last season because of thumb and shoulder injuries. He also suffered a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder and underwent surgery in December.
Cutler was among Chicago’s most polarizing athletes, and his tenure with the Bears was marked by turnovers. He threw 109 interceptions in 102 regular-season games, including a career-worst 26 picks in 2009 after the club paid a hefty price to acquire him from the Denver Broncos.
Cutler led the Bears to the NFC Championship Game in 2010 — a contest he left because of a knee injury — and posted a career-best 92.3 passer-rating in 2015, but those achievements were overshadowed by his struggles protecting the football. Cutler cycled through six offensive coordinators in Chicago. The Bears’ revolving door of play-callers also contributed to Cutler’s erratic play.