Entering his fourth NFL season, Ryan Tannehill is up for a contract extension or get his fifth-year option picked up by the Miami Dolphins, who seem to be undecided about whether he is their franchise quarterback or not.
There’s a deadline. The Dolphins have until May 3 to pick up the year 5 option, which means paying Tannehill $15 million. They can also go the long term extension route, which is usually the thing to do with a quarterback the team hopes sticks around for a long time. And they can suggest that this year is a test for Tannehill and he needs to prove himself, but that’s a risky move to make.
A first round pick in 2012, a very good year, at least initially, for young quarterbacks, Tannehill has been the starter for the last three years, playing in all 48 games. He has completed 61.9% of his passes (66.4% last season), throwing for just under 8000 yards in the last two years combined, has taken down his interception number to the 2% zone last season, while his passer rating, QBR and touchdown numbers all rose to a career high.
So isn’t he the guy? The Dolphins probably need a sign from above to knock them on their heads and actually tell them, so it seems. They’ve gone 8-8 over the last two years, last season having a fantastic start before fading away on both ends of the field. Tannehill hasn’t had the best protection over the course of these three years or the best run support. On paper, he shouldn’t continue to get better and there’s things to work on when it comes to supporting him.
So why aren’t the Dolphins locking him up already? There are a lot of important things involved in the making of a good, successful NFL team, but a franchise quarterback is always the biggest factor and the hardest one to obtain. That’s why this decision is such a big one for the Dolphins. It makes sense to wait and think, but not too much, because it could end up being more costly than just money.