The Dolphins will get $4 million in cap space if they part ways with wide receiver Greg Jennings this offseason, something that seems like a prudent course of action after Jennings had 19 catches during his first season with the team.
If Jennings is on his way out, he’s not holding his tongue when it comes to quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the team’s offense. Jennings said last week that the Dolphins haven’t let Tannehill grow as a quarterback during his first four seasons in Miami. Jennings repeated that observation during a Wednesday appearance on ESPN, pointing out that Tannehill wasn’t given freedom to check out of plays or do the things “a great quarterback will have the opportunity to do.”
That made for an obvious question about how close Jennings thinks Tannehill is to being considered an elite quarterback.
“I don’t know. I guess what I’m saying is he’s far [from elite],” Jennings said. “I’m being honest. None of us know. I’ve made the statements about them babying him thus far throughout his career. It’s like he’s been handcuffed. I’ve played with Brett [Favre], I’ve played with Aaron [Rodgers]. I’ve played with great quarterbacks. So you can assess, you can quickly tell if one has it or not. It’s been difficult for me to even tell if he has it or not because he hasn’t been given liberty.”
Quarterbacks that don’t have the trust of their coaches aren’t going to be given the kind of liberty to run the offense that Jennings is talking about, which is part of the reason why there’s a new coaching staff in Miami for the 2016 season. Should their efforts fail to get better results, the next change for the team could well be to exercise their ability to back out of Tannehill’s contract and find a quarterback that inspires more faith.