The full details of the Ryan Tannehill deal

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The 2019 Comeback Player of the Year has received something far better than a trophy, in the form of a four-year, $118 million contract. Here’s the full breakdown as to the money that Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill will receive.

1. $20 million signing bonus.

2. 2020 base salary: $17.5 million, fully guaranteed at signing.

3. 2021 base salary: $24.5 million, fully guaranteed at signing.

4. 2022 base salary: $29 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2021 league year.

5. 2023 base salary: $27 million, non-guaranteed.

This translates to $62 million fully guaranteed at signing, with the extra $29 million guaranteed after only one season. Thus, to avoid the $29 million, the Titans would have to cut Tannehill after paying him $37.5 million for one season and owing him $24.5 million for another, subject to offset.

The four-year payout is the third highest, behind only Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers. The three-year cash flow is fourth, behind Wilson, Rodgers, and Matt Ryan.

The $91 million represents the highest guarantee on a straight four-year deal in league history.

Given the payout on the front end, it’s surprising that the Titans didn’t insist on a couple of additional dummy years on the back end. Tannehill, who is only 31, will be back on the market at 35, giving him a shot at one more significant deal. If he plays well over the next four seasons.

12 responses to “The full details of the Ryan Tannehill deal

  1. I think the Titans may regret this.
    Tannehill had a fluke year and is not as good as his stats.
    I think he will be ok, not bad, but not good.
    On the other hand, the cap went up, and it is good to know who your QB is.
    I think some of hhis money should have been tied to preformance.
    If he reverts to his previous years performance, the Titans are overpaying.

  2. I agree that Titans should have added two more Optional years at the end of the contract. Obviously, whoever negotiated the deal for Ryan should have been in the CBA negotiations for NFLPA. To get that money guaranteed is crazy. He did good.

  3. That’s a lot of money to pay someone just to hand the ball off to Derrick Henry.

    Anyway, I’m a little at odds with the Titans going as far as to take care of one of their own impending free agents.
    With the nation under crisis and all, did they ever even consider the optics???

    Well, I’ve got to excuse myself as I’m off to the local Costco to buy more TP.

  4. One further factor to consider in how this contract compares to Wilson and the others is the fact that Tennessee doesn’t tax earned income. They have a 5% tax on investment income, so the total cash flow to Tannehill is greater in some respects.

    Perhaps tax rates should become part of the analysis for new money contracts.

  5. How many nights do you go being too excited to sleep after you get that kind of money?

  6. WA (Russ Wilson) doesn’t tax earned income, either. However, many states and municipalities do tax money earned in their states, and players pay income tax on road games. So Tannehill and Wilson pay income tax on seven or eight games a year. (It’s nontrivial to file the various returns, but they can probably afford accountants.) I’m sure at least some of these players and their agents include this in the calculations.

    Let’s say the average state income tax rate is 3%. On $30M, that’s $900K vs. $450K depending on where the player is based. If you had the choice of getting $30M for, say, the Titans vs. the Jaguars, would $450K be the difference-maker? Or let’s say you yourself earn $60K a year. Would a $900 difference in salary really be the difference between deciding to live in Jacksonville vs. Nashville? I’ll bet the cost-of-living difference is a bigger factor.

    In addition, those states that lack income taxes generally have higher property taxes. So Wilson saves $450K/year by living in a no-income-tax state, but if he owns a $5M house, he pays about $450K in property taxes annually. Thus while there are some tax differences, and our tax codes are so convoluted that their accountants can probably juggle some of this stuff, in reality I doubt the tax issue is the major factor in most cases.

  7. This actually isn’t that bad a deal, especially after the cap moves up. Tannehill is not a Rodgers or Mahomes or what have you level QB, but we all saw that he is competent. Even if he weren’t, however, this deal will look much more affordable after the next rash of QB deals are signed, especially after the new cap and CBA start affecting the QB contracts. Usually when we read of a new one it’s the record setter, no matter who the player is (Garoppolo and Stafford were both the big contract guys at different points, remember, and within a few years their deals looked average). The fact that Tannehill tops out at third in four year total payout is not that bad, considering how the trend has been to go for the max and set new records with every QB signing.

  8. This deal is going to make the Flacco contract look sane. I mean, he did at least deliver a Super Bowl win before cashing in.
    All I know is for Tannehill’s sake they better keep Derrick Henry on board. Without that run game hard to see Tannehill suddenly elevating a team’s passing game, for the first time at age 31.

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