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Ryan Tannehill takes the money and runs in new deal

Ryan Tannehill resigned with the Miami Dolphins to a 5 year/$96 million deal, as per Adam Schefter on Twitter.

If those numbers sound familiar, that’s because they’re eerily familiar to Andy Dalton’s extension signed in 2014, which has the same base numbers.

The difference between the contracts lies in the structure of them; Dalton’s has more pays-escalators, artificially inflating the value to $19 million annually (as opposed to $16 million) while Tannehill’s has $27 million more guaranteed. Tannehill, therefore, isn’t on a pay-as-go contract like Dalton is and has more job security from a thick roll of guaranteed money the Dolphins owe him even if he gets cut.

However, it’s not like the Bengals are likely to cut Andy Dalton. Teams rarely let go of top-20 quarterbacks, and there’s not enough average-or-better QBs to go around. If the Bengals cut the Red Rifle, who do they replace him with? The Bengals under Andy Dalton haven’t been anywhere close to being near the top of the draft, where “franchise” QBs are usually taken. The Bengals are stuck with Dalton.

So, basically, the two quarterbacks have the same deal.

But why?

Tannehill certainly could could have gotten more on the open market as he is universally regarded as the better quarterback and prospect. While Dalton has the overall better stats (due to Dalton playing under pass-happy Jay Gruden and Tannehill playing under the easily-confused Mike Sherman for the early parts of their careers) and win/loss record (due to the Bengals having one of the league’s best rosters), Tannehill, a receiver until his final year in college, is more athletic and accurate.

Even if Tannehill had just waited a year (and signed a deal after being franchise-tagged so he wasn’t on the open market), he likely could have gotten more. Tannehill’s stats should be padded by his continued development in Bill Lazor’s QB-friendly system and the best receivers he’s ever played with.

Instead, Tannehill chose not to risk injury or a change in Miami’s GM (who may want to select his own quarterback) and decided to get his money while the gettin’ was good. 

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Pressley Nietering

Pressley Nietering is an up-and-coming writer. He will attend Clemson University. Follow him on Twitter @Pressme
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