The Miami Dolphins have signed Ryan Tannehill to a contract extension through 2020. This was an expected move, as the Dolphins had previously announced that they would match the fifth year option on his rookie contract, and negotiations have been ongoing since then.
Tannehill, who was signed through 2016, now receives a 4-year extension worth an additional $77.7 million overall. His new contract will pay $96 million over the next 6 years, with $45 million guaranteed. $21.5 million is believed to be fully guaranteed at signing.
Per OverTheCap.com, Tannehill will become the highest paid quarterback in the NFL to never compete in a playoff game. The next closest quarterback is Sam Bradford, who earns $13 million dollars per year. However, his salary is based off the old rookie pay system. The highest paid veteran never to play in a playoff game is Brian Hoyer, who makes just over $5.5 million dollars per year.
Tannehill's contract will exceed Colin Kaepernick's by $250,000 per year and just under $10 million dollars in full guarantees. This is somewhat surprising considering Kaepernick appeared in a Super Bowl and two NFC Championship games. However, it's clear the Dolphins front office is putting their complete faith in Tannehill to be their quarterback for at least the next five years through 2020.
Before the extension, Tannehill was scheduled to earn over $18 million dollars this season and next. Therefore, Over The Cap is assuming that the Dolphins are paying Tannehill an additional $6.7 million dollars per year for cap space.
In a statement released by the team, Executive Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum and General Manager Dennis Hickey had nothing but praise for the franchise quarterback.
“We are thrilled that we were able to sign Ryan to an extension,” said Tannenbaum. “He is an ascending talent, a team leader and checks all of the boxes you are looking for at the position."
"Signing Ryan to this deal is important to our franchise," Hickey added. "He is a proven quarterback in this league that combines a talented skill set with work ethic, passion, toughness and a team-first mentality. We are committed and believe in Ryan as our quarterback for the long-term and we are excited to be able to sign him to this extension.”
Over the course of this three year career, Tannehill has started in all 48 games and has completed 1,029 of 1,662 passes for 11,252 yards, 63 touchdowns and 42 interceptions. When running with the ball, he has accumulated 760 yards on 145 attempts. He has four rushing touchdowns throughout his career.
Although passer ratings don't take everything into account, it is worth noting that his 92.8 rating was the fifth-highest single season number in Dolphins history. Besides that, he also set other records. His 392 completions in 2014 set a franchise single season record, his 27 touchdown passes were the sixth most in a season in franchise history, his 4,045 passing yards were the seventh highest in a single season in franchise history, his 66.4% completion percentage was the second highest in a single season in franchise history and other records and notable marks of improvement.
Tannehill, of course, is extremely excited about his extension.
“Stephen Ross and the rest of the organization has faith in me and kind of put it out there that they do have faith in me. I’m so excited to be a part of this team for the next few years and hopefully even further than that.”
Most Dolphins fans are equally happy to see their team finally sign a quarterback to a second contract, signaling they've found their franchise QB for years to come. Tannehill has improved each of his first three years in the league, and in the first year of offensive coordinator Bill Lazor’s system, threw for over 4,000 yards with 27 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions. He also added 311 yards rushing.
This story was written by Eldon Jenson. Follow him on Twitter @Eldon Jenson.