Ryan Tannehill trade could be a smart move by the Dolphins

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 4: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 4: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill /

Ryan Tannehill is the Miami Dolphins quarterback for 2018 but what if the Dolphins opted to trade their starting quarterback instead? It might be a pretty smart move by a team that needs to make smart moves.

This isn’t a knock on Ryan Tannehill. Far from it. I like him. I look forward to seeing him in 2018 and hoping that he will have fully recovered mentally from his knee injury. Mentally because an ACL injury and then a re-injury can have a devastating effect on a quarterbacks mental game. Especially a running style quarterback.

The first thought is that Tannehill’s salary is not tradeable. Not for the Dolphins and not for the other team taking on his contract but that is fiction. In fact, Tannehill’s contract isn’t that bad at all for other teams.

Tannehill is under contract until the 2021 season and his base salaries would range between $15 million and $19 million depending on how much the Dolphins would eat in dead money. Currently the Dolphins would save $15 million and eat $4.6. That is a big number but that is not the reason Miami should trade him.

Looking at the other side of any trade, a team with cap space in need of a quarterback might have legit interest in Tannehill. Despite Dolphins fans reservations about him, many in the NFL are high on Tannehill’s talent and potential. The big question is his knee going to hold up. The better news for another team is that Tannehill is under contract and as we have seen in recent QB contracts, his deal is actually team friendly for a starting QB. That too is not why Miami should trade him.

The reason Miami could trade him is that he has value. He could bring in a day two draft pick and likley more. Perhaps a player as well. A team needing a veteran tends to overpay for one that becomes available because that market it very thin.

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All of this is predicated on the Dolphins wanting to draft a quarterback in round one. Say Baker Mayfield. If they drafted a first round quarterback why not start him day one and let him learn on the fly. Didn’t hurt Carson Wentz or Jarred Goff much. The compensation could be used to move up to take the QB or draft another top rated player to fill another position of need.

In reality, 2019 would be a better trade year but that too comes with potential pitfalls.

This year may not be the best year to get the most value out of Ryan Tannehill. If the Dolphins do indeed draft a first day quarterback then Tannehill’s future will be somewhere else in 2019 and if he can have a full year of no-injury issues and can play at even an above average level, his compensation would rise as well. Of course if he injures that ACL again he will have no future value at all.

Trading Tannehill will be a smart move by the Dolphins when they finally decide to move on from him if they ever decide to move on. Just some open thought for discussion. What do you think? Tell us in the comments.