Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ryan Tannehill reports to camp after agreeing to contract

The holdout is over in Miami, as quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins agreed to terms on a four-year, $12.688 million contract Saturday. The No. 8 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft will report to training camp Sunday, July 29.

Tannehill had been working out at the IMG Football Academy in Bradenton, Fla. with former Florida State and NFL quarterback Chris Weinke as negotiations were ongoing. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Tannehill caved on the one sticking point of the deal in exchange for a contract $110,000 over slot value.

Holding up the deal was what is called "offset language," which involved the money the team would have to pay him if he is released him before his deal is up and he find another NFL job. Frankly, it's a silly issue that I'm disappointed the Dolphins won, because they never should have been fighting it in the first place.

The reality is that you drafted Tannehill to be your franchise quarterback, so unless you're expecting to release him within the next four years, it's a moot point. And if they did end up releasing Tannehill so soon, the franchise would certainly have bigger issues than some money.

Although reported as a four-year deal, the contract will include a fifth-year option as all first-round contracts do. That option must be exercised before the fourth year of the contract.

Now that Tannehill is in training camp, expect him to take reps with the first and second teams, but don't expect him to compete for a starting job in 2012. As big a deal as people have made that out to be since between April and now, the reality is that Tannehill was never going to realistically push for a starting job and it's not a bad thing that he won't.

Tannehill was only a college quarterback for one-and-a-half seasons, meaning he's far more raw than your typical pro prospect even if he does have experience in the offense with Mike Sherman at Texas A&M. The Dolphins like Tannehill's upside as much as they always have, but he's not an Andrew Luck type of level of readiness and it's fine if he takes more time to develop.

With two NFL veterans in David Garrard and Matt Moore competing to start, there's simply no reason to even put the expectation on Tannehill that he could win the job, because it sets him up to be labeled a failure if he doesn't. His job is to sit and learn for most if not all of the season while putting himself in position to take the reigns in 2013.


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