The Miami Dolphins will open training camp this Thursday and unless something changes quick, they will be without their number one pick in this past April’s draft. QB, Ryan Tannehill. The salary for Tannehill and the years will not likely be an issue. With the 7th and 9th selections already under contract with their respective teams, the Dolphins have a framework in place to do the deal. The issue comes in what is termed, “off-set” language.
Don’t feel too bad if you are confused. Many are. To put it “Cliff Notes”, off-set language means that if a player is cut and then signed by another team then the original team is not on the hook for the remaining salary provided the deal is for at least the amount the player had remaining on his contract. The drafting team would be on the hook for the difference if the contract is lower.
Not having off-set language in the deal would allow that player to sign with another team and still collect all of the money owed to him under the original teams contract agreement. In other words, that player would be getting paid by two different teams. According to several in the media, Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland has been adamant that the off-set language remains in the contract.
On the surface it would seem that off-set language one way or another would be easy to agree upon but frankly, it’s not a two way street with a middle ground. It’s either in or it’s out. In the past, this was not an issue but with the new CBA and the rookie wage scale, players are no longer in a position to bargain the highest possible deal they can. Instead, they have a predetermined raise over the year before and allotment based on the teams rookie pool and their draft position.
With the Dolphins entering TC this week and a QB battle expected to be a front and center spectacle, some believe that Tannehill’s absence in week may actually help the team get more reps in for David Garrard and Matt Moore, allowing HC Joe Philbin a good look at who should get the starter reps heading into the pre-season games. It’s almost a foregone conclusion that Ryan Tannehill will not start the season as the number 1 QB.
Still, regardless of Tannehill’s presence at the camps and his role or amount of reps, having any player not signed by the start of camp immediately puts that player behind the others. Although Tanny has been at the mini-camps and working with the coaches, nothing gets a player acclimated to the NFL faster than training camp practices.