Dolphins Rumors: Tannehill, Misi, Taylor

As the May 3 deadline looms in the near future for the Dolphins to pick up Ryan Tannehill‘s fifth-year option, which they will do barring an unlikely extension in the next five weeks, the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero doesn’t think a new contract is necessary for the improving quarterback.

The Dolphins’ most reliable 21st-century quarterback, Tannehill is due $16.1MM in 2016 once the Dolphins use that option. He’s also the 17th-highest paid player on the team, excluding dead-money anchors Mike Wallace and Dannell Ellerbe, that just signed Ndamukong Suh to a $114MM deal.

Using the Andy Dalton contract as an example of a premature splurge on a player who hadn’t yet warranted it, Salguero argues the Dolphins’ best course of action is to let Tannehill play under this deal ($4MM cap number in 2015) while he attempts to ascend further as a fourth-year player and take Miami to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

Tannehill’s average salary on the rookie contract he signed in 2012 ($3.17MM per season) is 34th in the league, according to OverTheCap.

For some additional Dolphins notes …

  • A debate is ongoing in the organization about what to do with the middle linebacker position, reports Adam H. Beasley. Koa Misi‘s future, in the minds of Joe Philbin and DC Kevin Coyle, remains at the middle spot he played last season, while new front office exec Mike Tannenbaum views the 28-year-old as a better fit on the outside where he played the previous four seasons. Misi’s graded positively on Pro Football Focus’ metrics the past three campaigns, topping out as the 12th-best inside backer last season (subscription required).The front office, per Beasley, eyes the younger Kelvin Sheppard to have a shot to start inside in the Fins’ 4-3 alignment.
  • With the youngest wideout stable in the league at 23.3 years old, the Dolphins look to supplement the Jarvis Landry– and Kenny Stills-fronted corps with a high draft pick and veteran free agent. Beasley mentioned Greg Jennings or Michael Crabtree to potentially be added to balance out a unit that lost 2014 starters Wallace and Brian Hartline.
  • Also from Beasley: despite the signing of Brice McCain, third-year player Jamar Taylor will probably have a chance to start across from Brent Grimes. The 2013 second-rounder started three games in two seasons.
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