Although the Dolphins have already been linked to a possible offseason acquisition of Giants quarterback Eli Manning, Miami is “highly unlikely” to pursue Manning given the club’s investment in fellow signal-caller Ryan Tannehill, team sources tell Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
There’s a lot to unpack here, but first is the subject of whether Manning will even be available during the offseason. The Giants fired both general manager Jerry Reese and head coach Ben McAdoo on Monday, meaning another group of decision-makers will be leading the club next year. Manning is under contract through 2019 with cap charges north of $22MM in each of the next two campaigns, and his deal also contains a full no-trade clause.
If Manning does hit the free agent or trade market, the Dolphins would make — on the surface — make sense as a potential destination, especially given the presence of head coach Adam Gase. Gase worked with Eli’s brother, Peyton Manning, for three seasons in Denver, meaning he should have a familiarity with the Manning clan.
While there’s almost no chance Jay Cutler returns to South Beach in 2018 given that he ranks in the bottom-five of nearly every quarterback metric, every report has indicated Tannehill will be back next season. In October, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported Miami still thinks “extremely highly” of Tannehill and plans to utilize him as its starting quarterback next year. While there haven’t been any recent health updates on Tannehill (who tore his ACL in August), his injury timeline should allow him to recover in time for the start of the 2018 campaign.
Tannehill, 29, is under contract through the 2020 season, although he’s essentially working on a “pay-as-you-go” deal. The Dolphins could cut ties at any point over the next three years without incurring greater than $5MM in dead money.
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