Are The Miami Dolphins Working On A Ryan Tannehill Extension?


The title of a Palm Beach Post article gives the false impression that the Miami Dolphins and Ryan Tannehill are working on an extension. In that article posted by the paper online titled, “Miami Dolphins working on Tannehill Contract Extension” they speak of the possibilities that the Dolphins have in front of them regarding their quarterback.

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On May 3rd, the Dolphins, if they have not done so prior, will need to make a decision on the 5th year option for their quarterback. If Tannehill’s option is picked up his 2016 salary could jump into the $16 million dollar range. Players selected in the top ten of the first round receive an annual salary that is based on the average of the top 10 at their position. The PBP points out the contracts that will likely signed by Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson this off-season could and likely will have an impact on that average.

The option is not fully guaranteed until March of 2016 unless Tannehill is injured. That gives the Dolphins the 2015 season to evaluate him once again. At this point it’s the only real option the Dolphins have without making the salary cap an issue in the process.

The Post points out that the team could sign Tannehill to a new deal which of course benefits both team and player and would likely be far less than deals by Wilson and Luck. Agreeing to a long term deal with Tannehill could be a mistake at this point given the uncertainty of the coaching staff and general manager beyond next season. A new coaching staff would inherit both Tannehill and his contract and that’s not very enticing for new coaches.

On the other side of that coin is Tannehill’s progress from his first year. He threw for over 4,000 yards in 2014 and threw 27 touchdowns. Tannehill appears to be a quarterback that is getting better each season but there is still a lot to improve upon with his game, including the deep ball.

The Dolphins are clearly at a crossroads here but their best move for the organization is to pick up the option and let 2015 ride out.

The Dolphins are clearly at a crossroads here but their best move for the organization is to pick up the option and let 2015 ride out. If the coaching staff stays it’s a good bet they improved considerably over the last two seasons and Ryan Tannehill will be a big part of the reason why. In that scenario the Dolphins can simply sign the quarterback to a long term deal. If the team doesn’t improve and the staff is gone, a new head coach will make the decision on Tannehill’s future with the team and if he has a poor 2015 season the team can release him without any cap ramifications if done prior to the start of the 2016 league new year.

Lastly the question comes down to what if Ryan Tannehill plays extremely well in 2015? The Dolphins again could rework the deal or simply let the option year play out. There is some risk that Tannehill could play far better and earn a more lucrative contract than he would if he signed one today but there hasn’t been enough to show that will be the case one or two years from now and if Tannehill is playing in say the top five of the league, no one within the Dolphins organization will be complaining about paying the quarterback franchise money.

The Dolphins may be saying that they are examining their options and they likely are but there really is only one clear choice for them to make. Secure their quarterback for 2016, evaluate him in 2015, and then make a decision based on that performance and growth. If Tannehill is going to be a franchise quarterback now is the time for him to step up and prove it.