The Dolphins will have a new starting quarterback in 2020.
The team traded Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans on Friday in a deal involving draft picks. The Dolphins will get a fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft along with a seventh-round selection this year.
Along with Tannehill, the Dolphins will send Tennessee a sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft.
“We would like to thank Ryan for his commitment to the Miami Dolphins over the last seven seasons,” Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier said. “Ryan is a tireless worker who always put the team first. We wish him the best with the next step of his career.”
To facilitate the trade, the Dolphins paid $5 million of Tannehill's $7 million fully guaranteed money in the form of a signing bonus, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Tannehill will not count against the Dolphins salary cap in 2020.
Between the Tannehill trade and potential compensatory picks based on this year’s free agency activity, the Dolphins could end up having double-digit picks in the 2020 draft.
With Tannehill gone, the quarterbacks currently on the Dolphins roster are Luke Falk and Jake Rudock. Brock Osweiler and David Fales, who ended last season on the active roster, both are unrestricted free agents.
The trade marks the end of the Ryan Tannehill era in Miami, which began when the Dolphins made him the eighth overall selection in the 2012 draft.
In seven seasons in Miami, Tannehill started all 88 games he played and moved up to third in franchise history for career passing attempts (2911), completions (1829), passing yards (20,434) and touchdown passes (123).
His career passer rating of 87.0 is the second-highest in franchise history, behind only the 94.5 compiled by Chad Pennington from 2008-10. Dan Marino’s career passer rating was 86.4, but he played under different rules and there’s no one who would argue about him being the greatest quarterback in franchise history.
Tannehill’s best season with the Dolphins might have come in 2016 when he helped the team earn a playoff spot and had career highs in completion percentage (67.1) and passer rating (93.5).
He had an 8-5 record as a starter that year before he went down with a knee injury in a Week 14 game against the Arizona Cardinals at Hard Rock Stadium.
It would be the beginning of a frustrating 20-month period for Tannehill, who missed the final three games of the 2016 regular season, the playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, and then had to sit out all of 2017 after injuring the same knee during a training camp practice.
Tannehill returned last season and helped the Dolphins get off to a 3-0 start, but he sustained a shoulder injury late in the Week 5 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals and would be forced to sit out the following five games.
Upon his return, Tannehill had three strong performances, posting passer ratings of 119.4 against the Colts, 103.6 against the Bills and 155.2 against the Patriots in the game that ended with him starting the miraculous final play with a completion to Kenny Stills.
While consistency was an issue throughout Tannehill’s tenure with the Dolphins, he did have his moments of brilliance, such as that previously mentioned three-game stretch when his combined passer rating was 129.9.
The first game that comes to mind was the 2016 rout of the Houston Texans in Dan Campbell’s first home game as Dolphins interim head coach. Tannehill completed 18 of 19 passes that day to help the Dolphins build a 41-0 halftime lead on their way to a 44-26 victory. Tannehill earned a perfect 158.3 passer rating and was rewarded by being named AFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Tannehill had completed his final seven passes the previous week in a 38-10 rout of the Titans in Campbell’s debut as interim head coach, helping him set an NFL record with 25 consecutive completions — a record that since has been broken.
During that 2016 playoff season, Tannehill orchestrated the most impressive comeback of his career when he threw touchdown passes on the Dolphins’ final two drives — the last one to DeVante Parker — in a 14-10 victory against the Rams at the L.A. Coliseum. That was the last of Tannehill’s 10 fourth-quarter comeback victories as Dolphins quarterback.
Tannehill had 16 300-yard passing games for the Dolphins, topped by his 431-yard performance in a 24-21 overtime loss against Arizona during his rookie season.
The deal with Tennessee marks the first time the Dolphins have traded a veteran quarterback since 2008 when they sent Josh McCown to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a seventh-round pick. That trade came three weeks after the Dolphins signed Chad Pennington, who would go on to lead them to the AFC East title.