Miami Dolphins Ryan Tannehill part of NFL’s future
By Brian Miller
Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. Tom Brady, cheating aside, has four Super Bowl MVP’s. Both players are closing in on the ends of their careers while pushing towards 40 years of age. Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is one of the NFL’s future stars. Or so the Dolphins hope.
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A week ago, maybe it was less than that, it was reported that Green Bay Packer QB Aaron Rodgers plans to play another eight seasons. Drew Brees has a few seasons left in him as well. The four quarterbacks mentioned are the NFL’s elite passers and three of them are closing in on retirement in the next few seasons.
A slew of quarterbacks make up the 2nd tier of passers reaching milestones not on the field but in life. Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, Phillip Rivers, Matt Stafford, Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, and the aforementioned Aaron Rodgers are all either approaching ten seasons in the NFL or have eclipsed it. While several of those quarterbacks are good to very good only Rodgers stands as an elite passer from that group.
The NFL in the next 10 years will be looking at players like Ryan Tannehill and Andrew Luck to become the league leaders. Tannehill has improved in each of his first three seasons and there is little reason to believe he won’t improve more in 2015. Tannehill and Luck, both drafted in 2011 have both shown signs that they will be around a long time in the league. Russell Wilson from the same draft class has only led his team to two Super Bowl appearances, winning one.
At some point it will be the Tannehill’s, Luck’s, Wilson’s, and Newton’s who will be the stars of the NFL quarterback units. There is a long way to go before Tannehill reaches that level but time is on his side and his production continues to improve. The point is not that Tannehill is elite or that he will be but instead that he faces a strong future ahead of him in the league. It’s in his hands to become great.
Tannehill is part of the NFL’s youth movement. It happens every ten to twelve years or so as the NFL loses it’s top producing players, normally a small handful and other QB’s step up to take over. Way back when in 1998 a young kid named Peyton Manning was part of the last big change when players like Dan Marino and Steve Young headed into life after the NFL.
The good news is that this time around we are not watching Miami send off a player but instead, hopefully, watch as their next quarterback becomes great and there is no reason to believe that he can’t. He may never post the numbers of a Manning or Rodgers but he very well could produce the numbers of a Steve Young or a Drew Bledsoe. Two quarterbacks who took their teams to Super Bowls.