Image courtesy of AP
According to numerous sources, the Miami Dolphins just lavished upon one Ryan Tannehill a six-year, $96 million contract extension, with $45 million in various guarantees and $21 million fully guaranteed. Buffalo Bills hall-of-famer Jim Kelly only made about $25+ million in his entire professional career.
Anyway, I won’t bore you with all the other contract details, but, it looks like Tannehill is going to have to earn most of his $96 million, and the Dolphins can get out of this after three years, if they decide to cut the Miami quarterback.
So what? That means the Dolphins are still betting on Tannehill to be their franchise quarterback for another three years. And, this contract makes Tannehill one of the top six paid quarterbacks in the NFL. This is a guy, who over three seasons, has 63 touchdowns, 42 interceptions, and an 84.0 passer rating with the deep ball. All pretty good numbers, and over the 13 games last year, Tannehill showed solid improvement with an overall passer rating of 92.8.
But, does Tannehill pass the eye test? Is he really one of the rising stars of NFL QBs, on the scale of Andrew Luck?
I would offer…no he is not. This is a QB of average ability who’s led his team to exactly…nowhere.
However, I understand why the Dolphins made this move. It is why the Chicago Bears are stuck with Jay Cutler, the Kansas City Chiefs are hoping Alex Smith is good enough and the Broncos prayed that a 39-year-old Peyton Manning would give it one more year.
The state of QB play in the NFL is at its lowest in 30+ years. Even Tim Tebow, who is by all accounts a great guy, is also a horrible quarterback, and he’s getting a third chance to play at the professional level.
I can remember a day when a bad Falcons team had a pretty good Steve Bartkowski, and an average Buffalo Bills team had Joe Ferguson. Brian Sipe was a really good quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, Ken Anderson put up good numbers in Cincinnati. The Seahawks had Jim Zorn, Dan Pastorini could heave the long ball to Ken Burrough. New England’s Steve Grogan could burn you with both his arm and legs.
Hell, Ron Jaworski led the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl, and Neil Lomax was pretty good for the (then St. Louis) Cardinals.
And none of these guys were named Bradshaw, Staubach, Stabler, Fouts or Montana.
The state of quarterback play in today’s NFL is horrible. Oh sure, the numbers are up, but, that is solely because of the rule changes and wide receivers running through defensive backfields untouched.
In today’s NFL, Geno Smith and EJ Manuel are getting second and third chances to earn starting jobs, and Josh McCown keeps cashing multi-million dollar checks from Chicago, to Tampa, to Cleveland.
So, when you look at Tannehill’s deal, you just have to shake your head and say, “Yep, the Dolphins are stuck with that kid for the next three to five years.”
There is no Joe Ferguson or Ron Jaworksi looking for a job in today’s NFL. Congratulations Ryan, your skills are perfect for this era of QB play.