For Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, 2014 may well be the season that determines his future in the league. As Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes, the Dolphins must decide by May 2015 if they want to exercise Tannehill’s fifth-year option for 2016. Since Tannehill was a top-10 pick, that option would pay him the average salary of the 10 highest-paid quarterbacks in the league (about $15MM).
However, if Tannehill and the Dolphins offense thrive this season under the leadership of new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, Miami could offer their young-signal caller a long-term extension, which the Bengals gave to Andy Dalton and the 49ers gave to Colin Kaepernick after their third seasons in the league.
Statistically, Tannehill’s second season compares favorably to Matt Ryan‘s, which is certainly encouraging for Miami fans. On the other hand, out of the 18 quarterbacks drafted in the top 10 from 2000-2011, seven saw their quarterback ratings drop in their third season.
Whether Tannehill takes a third-year leap like Ryan or a third-year tumble like Mark Sanchez will of course play a significant role in his own fortunes, but it will also go a long way in determining the fate of the franchise. As Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes, “This is going to be one of those defining seasons that either settles the franchise for the near future or points the whole place in a completely different direction.” And so much of that hinges on Tannehill’s right arm.
Now for a couple more notes from the league’s east divisions:
- In the same piece linked above, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Dolphins made an inquiry, but not an offer, to former starting safety Chris Clemons after he was released by the Texans. Reshad Jones is serving a four-game suspension to begin the season, and if the Dolphins do not like what they see from their secondary in today’s opener against New England, they could bring Clemons back into the fold next week and would not have to guarantee his salary for the remainder of the season.
- Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes that, given the Jets‘ ample salary cap space, created in large part by GM John Idzik‘s failure to adequately address the team’s cornerback position this offseason–along with the holes stemming from those failures–head coach Rex Ryan should not be worried about his job security at the end of the season.
- I wrote up the latest piece of news on the Bills‘ ownership saga earlier today.
- Kevin Patra of NFL.com writes that, since the Cowboys and star wide receiver Dez Bryant were unable to hammer out an extension before today’s season opener, Bryant will be a logical candidate to get the franchise tag.