Much has been made about Ryan Tannehill‘s future with the Titans over the past two offseasons, given his age and contract status. The veteran signal-caller has been mentioned in trade talks with a pair of quarterbacks added in the past two drafts, and he may have come close to seeing his Tennessee tenure end this past April.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes that “a few teams” around the league believed Tannehill was available to be acquired via trade before the 2023 draft. The 35-year-old was indeed named as a player to watch on the trade front not long before the draft began, with the Titans being linked to a number of rookie passers. They ultimately traded up to select Will Levis with the No. 33 pick, giving them a presumed Tannehill successor.
The latter had nevertheless received a vote of confidence from new general manager Ran Carthon one month earlier, putting him on track to retain his QB1 status for at least the start of the 2023 campaign. His Week 1 performance – 16-of-34 passing, 198 scoreless yards and three interceptions – in the team’s loss to the Saints was reminiscent of his 2022 struggles. Tannehill dealt with a number of injury issues last season and his drop-off in play led to speculation the team could move on despite one year remaining on his contract.
The former Dolphins top-10 pick’s deal carries a $36.6MM cap hit, and trading or releasing him would have cleared up funds while paving the way for Levis to take on starting duties right away. The latter had injury concerns of his own entering the league, however, and the Titans remain intent on keeping he and Malik Willis sidelined as developmental options for the time being. With an heir apparent seemingly in place and Tannehill set to hit free agency in March, though, it will worth watching how the team handles the veteran moving forward.
Tannehill is one of many experienced QBs who have been floated as Jets trade targets in the wake of Aaron Rodgers‘ Achilles tear. New York did homework on the Pro Bowler this past offseason before seeing the preferred route of acquiring Rodgers come to bear. For the time being, the Jets would rather sign a street free agent than give up draft capital to add to their QB room. If that mindset changes, though, they could be among the teams who have at least recently shown interest in pulling off a Tannehill swap.