Jay Cutler says he expects regrets, but his NFL retirement is permanent

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Frank Schwab
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It’s hard for many of us to believe that anyone could voluntarily leave behind the glamour of the NFL. So plenty of people assume retired players will be back as soon as they get a call.

That ignores some things, most of all that being an NFL player – while there are unmistakable perks – is a hard job. Yet, when Tony Romo retired and joined CBS, everyone immediately fantasized about him coming back (Bleacher Report quoted an unnamed source saying the odds of Romo returning were 100 percent … seems a lil high). And people are figuring Jay Cutler will drop his Fox analyst gig and be right back in the NFL as soon as a quarterback-needy team picks up the phone.

That won’t happen, Cutler said. Cutler, who announced his retirement on Friday, said he’s done with playing quarterback in the NFL.

“Yeah … we can go ahead and stamp that,” Cutler told ESPN 1000 in Chicago, according to Kevin Fishbain of the Northwest Herald. “It’s permanent.”

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It won’t matter what he said, just like it didn’t matter what Romo said. Never mind that Romo and Cutler ended up with fantastic jobs upon their retirement. They could have those jobs for the next 25 years without any linebackers ever planting a helmet in their backs. People are infatuated with the idea of retired players coming back, maybe with the memories of Brett Favre’s drama permanently stuck in their brains. That’s why we get annual Jon Gruden coaching rumors, too. But when you consider it, why would either of them come back?

Well, that’s easy to answer too. Even though Cutler has a good job with Fox (and let’s be honest, it’s a great deal for him getting a cushy job without ever proving a thing in the broadcasting field), his body was pounded playing quarterback for the Chicago Bears (especially the past few years), it’s fair to assume nothing will ever replace the thrill of playing in front of 70,000 people on Sundays. Cutler is a smart guy, and he realizes that’s coming.

“There’s zero doubt in my mind there’s going to be some regret,” Cutler said on ESPN 1000, via Conor Orr of NFL.com.

Still, life moves on. Even if, at just 34 years old, Cutler thinks he could still play.

Cutler could do well in his next career. There’s a chance he’ll even outshine Romo, who was supposedly the big catch by CBS (our Eric Edholm explained here why Cutler might be better than Romo right away). Because of his flippant attitude with the media for most of his career – something he was better at in recent years, apparently – Cutler is a lot less predictable as an analyst than most of the players hopping into the booth.

Cutler’s devil-may-care reputation as a player could be a plus as an analyst, especially if the description of his Fox audition is any indication.

“I just went in and kind of winged it,” Cutler said, via Mike Garafolo of NFL.com.

Of course he did. Cutler the gunslinger might be totally done with football, but there’s a chance he’ll still entertain us.

Jay Cutler said he's not coming back to the NFL. (AP)
Jay Cutler said he’s not coming back to the NFL. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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