One of the biggest questions heading into this season for the Miami Dolphins and in the NFL in particular: Will Ryan Tannehill finally play like a franchise quarterback?
Last season was the first time in Tannehill’s career that he had a winning record as a starting QB, going 8-5 in 13 starts, as the Dolphins ended their long playoff drought. However, their 10-6 season ended shortly in the postseason with a 30-12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tannehill didn’t play after week 13, and missed the postseason. Matt Moore played instead.
So Tannehill, like in the two seasons before, has a lot to prove, with plenty of expectations on his shoulders. Can he finally play better than your average quarterback? Is he even better than your average quarterback? The 8th overall pick in the 2012 draft that also included Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson, Tannehill hasn’t exactly stood out over the last few years. Last season it seemed he had better pass protection than in previous years while the Dolphins did a better job of leaning on the running game than his passing ability. His career passer rating of 86.9 or TD-INT ratio of 106 to 66 isn’t terrific, but it’s not that terrible either. He did post a career high in TD% and SK% last season.
The Dolphins do have an out if things don’t work out. Tannehill did sign a massive 6-year, $96 million deal in 2015 which took him through the 2020 season, but the Dolphins can cut him before the 2018 season begins (all depending on the date of course) and pay only $5.52 million. Partially guaranteed, giving the Dolphins a lot to think about. However, they did not draft a quarterback in 2017, and don’t have an up and coming young player that gives them an easy decision to make if Tannehill sucks or simply doesn’t crush it in 2017. Unless this is a really bad season for the former Texas A&M QB, he’s probably in Miami for a few more years. Don’t be surprised if we start hearing extension talks at some point too, at least rumors being dropped from Tannehill’s camp.