Jay Cutler became to the second veteran NFL quarterback to leave the field and head to the broadcast booth this offseason.
Cutler will join Fox Sports as a game analyst, working alongside Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis, Fox spokesperson Eddie Motl confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on Friday. The move comes a month after Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo retired to embark on his broadcasting career with CBS.
“I don’t know if retirement is the right word; I don’t feel that anyone ever really retires from the NFL," Cutler said in a statement released by Fox Sports. "You are either forced to leave, or you lose the desire to do what’s required to keep going. I’m in between those situations at this point in my life.”
Cutler, 34, was released by the Chicago Bears in March and found little interest on the free agent market for his services. Drafted out of Vanderbilt in the first round by the Denver Broncos, Cutler played 11 seasons in the NFL, the final eight with the Bears.
Unlike Romo, Cutler hasn't officially come out and proclaim his playing days are done and Fox Sports' news release didn't mention the word "retire" once.
Fox Sports has allowed language in contracts for its talent to return to the field in the past. Brady Quinn spent a couple weeks with the Miami Dolphins ahead of the 2014 seasons, just days after signing a deal as college and pro football analyst. He returned to Fox Sports after the Dolphins released him.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Jay to the FOX Sports family,” John Entz, President of Production & Executive Producer of FOX Sports said in a statement. “We’re very excited about the potential he brings to the booth and are looking forward to hearing his analysis during what is sure to be another great season of the NFL on FOX.”
“This is an exciting new chapter for me in football,” said Cutler. “I love the game so much and look forward to having a lot of fun on the road this year for FOX Sports.”