Dolphins Extend QB Ryan Tannehill
If there was any doubt about how the Miami Dolphins feel about franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill, it has now been eradicated. The team extended Tannehill on Monday evening, handing the former Texas A&M product a six-year extension worth roughly $96 million.
Already locked up through the 2016 NFL season, this is essentially a new deal with four extra years tacked on, keeping Tannehill with the Fins through 2020. The deal is reportedly worth a guaranteed $21.5 million that is fairly concrete for the first three years of the contract, and then turns into a “pay as you go” deal over the final few years.
It’s a solid move by both sides, as Tannehill can rest easy knowing he’s good to go financially, while Miami can throw support behind their quarterback without tying big money down on a massive front-loaded deal.
Tannehill deserved a show of confidence after making a big leap in 2014, when he put up career numbers across the board with 392 completions, 4,045 yards and 27 passing touchdowns.
Seemingly just now hitting his stride, Tannehill could be ready to bust out even more in 2015. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor took advantage of Tannehill’s intermediate game and athleticism, while also building a solid running game with Lamar Miller. With Lazor back, Tannehill gets some nice continuity with a bright mind and a system that has been proven to work.
In addition, the Dolphins have made some nice moves to help Tannehill in his development. Athletic tight end Jordan Cameron was brought in as an upgrade over the departed Charles Clay, Mike Wallace was traded to the Minnesota Vikings, the team traded for Kenny Stills to replace him and then also drafted wide receiver DeVante Parker and running back Jay Ajayi.
There’s no guarantee that all of the moves work right away, but Stills projects as a less disruptive Wallace, Cameron could be a huge asset in the red-zone and Parker could start from day one.
The most important piece of the puzzle is clearly Tannehill, though, as he showed excellent progress over the course of 2014. Now that he knows he’s not going anywhere, he can settle in and continue his climb. Depending on how much he can improve over the summer, he could have the Fins in contention for an AFC East title and a playoff spot.
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