Dolphins reportedly will pay $5 million to Ryan Tannehill

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As it turns out, it’s the Brock Osweiler Trade Light.

The curious ability of the Dolphins to unload quarterback Ryan Tannehill and a 2019 sixth-round pick onto the Titans for a 2020 fourth-round pick and a 2019 seventh-round pick was fueled by Miami’s decision to give Tannehill a $5 million parting gift.

The Dolphins will pay that much of Tannehill’s guaranteed $7 million salary for 2019, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

So, basically, the Dolphins have purchased for $5 million and a sixth-round pick this year a fourth-round pick next year and a seventh-round pick this year. That’s the only reason to trade Tannehill instead of cutting him, given that Tannehill’s contract had no guaranteed money due in 2019.

Indeed, the Dolphins simply could have cut Tannehill, owing him nothing and accepting nothing in exchange for him. Instead, they get value in the form of net draft-pick gain — but they’re paying $5 million for it.

From Tannehill’s perspective, there was no reason to accept the trade, given that the Dolphins eventually would have released him. With no trigger in his contract forcing Miami to either make a lump-sum payment or guarantee a chunk of his base salary, however, the Dolphins could have squatted on Tannehill, waiting for perhaps an injury or the inability of a team to get a quarterback they may be targeting in the draft. His base salary would have remained not guaranteed until Week One of the regular season.

Of course, the Dolphins would have had to allow Tannehill to participate in the offseason program opening next month, assuming the risk of a fluke season-ending injury that would have put the team on the hook for the full $18.75 million he was previously due to earn.

So it was a win-win-win for a team that needed a backup quarterback, a team that wanted to shed its starting quarterback, and a quarterback whose options likely would have dried up if he’d refused to go along with the trade and the reduced salary.

The move will conjure memories of the deal that sent then-Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler and a second-round pick to the Browns. By assuming Osweiler’s guaranteed salary, the Browns bought a second-round pick for $16 million. Here, the Dolphins bought a four and a seven for $5 million and a six — and the Titans got insurance against Marcus Mariota injury or ineffectiveness plus a sixth-round pick for $2 million, a seventh-round pick, and a future fourth-round pick.

12 responses to “Dolphins reportedly will pay $5 million to Ryan Tannehill

  1. This is like Wentz and Foles 2017 except that Mariota is already making 21 million and both guys in Tennessee are mediocre QBs.

  2. No doubt, “the best of a bad situation”. The Dolphins are doing the right thing here and at least got something in trade. He was going to be cut anyway. I was never a Tannehill supporter, but he also was dealt a really bad hand in his career with an Oline that ranked between 29th and 31st for 5 years and 3 different Offenses to learn. Based on the number of sacks he took over the years he is lucky to be alive. I wish him well with the Titans.

  3. Teams routinely shell out dumb money for even mediocre quarterbacks, dude def could’ve gotten the same money in free agency and had his choice.. kinda surprised but maybe shows that Ryan doesn’t even confidence in himself

  4. “dude def could’ve gotten the same money in free agency and had his choice”

    But whos to say the phins would have released him now or even soon?
    They could have waited till days before week 1, then what choices would he have had?
    Who wants a back up qb who doesn’t know your program and missed training camp?

  5. Football’s version of money-ball . good luck with the qb search they’re gonna need it to keep pace with the jets n bills for last place in the division !!

  6. So no one has suggested that the Dolphins owed him NO money guaranteed in 2019. No one at all. This is news to me. He was due 13 million guranteed in 2019 because of a restructure in his contract last year. And due 5 mil next year as well. Multiple outlets reported Tannehill would be due just roughly 5 million this year if designated post June 1 so I have no clue where these numbers are coming from.

    He was due 26 mil this year with half guaranteed.

  7. As a Dolphin and Tannehill fan, I give Miami a lot of credit for doing the last thing.
    Helped Tannehill go to a place where Tannehill has a chance to play behind a good OL.
    Overpaid for a 4th round in 2020.
    But showed some class in the process towards a player who did not get it done, but gave everything for seven years.
    Best of luck to Tannehill in Nashville.

  8. “Joshua Pickett says:
    March 15, 2019 at 9:25 pm
    So no one has suggested that the Dolphins owed him NO money guaranteed in 2019. No one at all. This is news to me. He was due 13 million guranteed in 2019 because of a restructure in his contract last year. And due 5 mil next year as well. Multiple outlets reported Tannehill would be due just roughly 5 million this year if designated post June 1 so I have no clue where these numbers are coming from.

    He was due 26 mil this year with half guaranteed”
    That is completely incorrect. The 13 million that would have hit the cap were bonuses that were paid to Tannehill already but that are divided among the life of the contract.
    Tannhehill has 2.3 left from his original 11 million bonus paid in 2014. And about 11 million left from the 16.5 million of his salary that were paid last year.
    So on a cut or a trade the team cap gets hit with 13.4 million. But Tannehill would not had gotten one cent because the money had already been paid to him.
    Respecftully,

  9. @ gllmiaspr

    I am sorry for the confusion. As a fan I have no interest in what it costs the owner to actually pay a player. The NFL is funny money and false promises. The only thing I care about is his hit against the cap which is 13.4, now 18.4 million. Sorry if I was misleading as to what I was looking for.

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