The Dolphins signed quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a new contract earlier this year. With a new coach looming, the Dolphins may soon be tearing up that new contract.
The four-year extension, which commits Tannehill to the Dolphins for six years, doesn’t commit the Dolphins to Tannehill for six years. As a practical matter, it’s a two-year deal, with a team option on the rest of the contract. By cutting him before the fifth day of the 2017 league year, the Dolphins would avoid $17.975 million in guaranteed money that season and another $5.525 million in salary for 2018 that is currently guaranteed for injury only.
So Tannehill is guaranteed a job only through 2015 and 2016. The new coach, who may say he wants Tannehill in order to get the job but who may then act otherwise, will be able to get his own guy as early as Year Two.
With $23 million in 2017 and 2018 salary guaranteed for injury, there’s a chance the new coach puts Tannehill in bubble wrap at some point in the 2016 season, if/when the new coach determines that Tannehill won’t be the guy in 2017.