Not too long ago Ryan Tannehill was considered a first-round bust, passed over by the Miami Dolphins, one of the most quarterback-hungry franchises in all of football. However, now with the Tennessee Titans, the signal-caller has seemingly rewritten his NFL career and changed his career trajectory.
Tannehill was inserted into then 2-4 Titans lineup back in Week 7. The former Texas A&M wide receiver turned quarterback helped pull the team’s offense out of the depths of mediocrity. The Titans went on to average 30+ points per game during the regular season with Tannehill under center.
Yet, during his two playoff games, Tannehill has been delegated to much more of a game manager role, throwing for no more than 88-yards in either game.
With the QB set to hit the free-agent market in 2020, will teams be wary of cutting a check for a quarterback who many may see as simply riding the coattail of Derrick Henry? Or will they view Tannehill as a player who was the key catalyst that jumpstarted the Titans playoff run? If it’s the latter, expect many teams to be lining up with their checkbooks in hand to try and claw Tannehill away from Tennessee come this offseason.
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Top 5 Landing Spots For Tannehill in Free Agency
Honorable Mention: Miami Dolphins
This is simply of wishful thinking. The likelihood of a team throwing big money at a former first-round bust of their own is slim to none. Tannehill, Kenyan Drake, and DeVante Parker have all shown great ability since escaping the production-sucking wrath of Adam Gase. Parker just signed a big extension in Miami, while Drake will join Tannehill on the open market in 2020. So how about a 305 reunion for the triplets? It’s not going to happen, but boy would it be intriguing, a word not many people have mentioned alongside Dolphins football in a long time.
5. Indianapolis Colts
Jacoby Brissett looked like the Colts franchise QB in the early parts of 2019. However, injuries and a dip in production have many in the Colts front office looking to potentially move on from Brissett. At least, that’s what the Colts GM believes. Tannehill’s fit in Indianapolis may be one of the most seamless moves for the quarterback on this list. Much like Tennessee, Indianapolis runs their offense through the ground game, led by Marlon Mack. Plus he could do worse than a receiving group led by a healthy TY Hilton and a promising youngster in Parris Campbell.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
Tannehill would only find his way to Pittsburgh if Big Ben decides to retire, which at this moment doesn’t sound likely. However, Roethlisberger is just days away from a crucial injury evaluation that will better determine his NFL future. If the Steelers have their way, Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges will not take a single in-game snap next season. Tannehill, James Conner, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, James Washington, and a top-five defense almost sounds lethal.
3. Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers’s career seems to be coming to an end. Many in the media have pointed to Tom Brady taking his talents to Los Angeles this offseason, however, it’ll be hard for me to believe it until I see it. Tannehill is a much more realistic fit for the Chargers. The Chargers roster from a talent perspective is still one of the better in the league. The Bolts also need to sell tickets, and while Tannehill may not be box office per se, if he can have the team winning and putting up 30+ ppg like he did in Tennessee, the Chargers will have butts in the seats.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bruce Arians’ quote when discussing quarterbacks of “If we can win with this one, we can definitely win with another one, too” still baffles me. An NFL coach does not make those comments about a quarterback who they believe in. It’s not hard to see why Arians feels that way. Tampa Bay is likely in the playoffs this season with nearly any other semi-capable QB under center. Tannehill tossing the rock to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin almost sounds tempting enough to make the QB think about not signing with the next team on our list.
1. Tennessee Titans
The only chance I see Tennessee moving on from their quarterback is if Tom Brady comes knocking on Mike Vrabel’s door telling him he wants to play for the Titans. Other than that, Tannehill is likely here to stay in Tennessee. He’s a perfect fit for what the team loves to do on offense, and his relationship with rookie receiver AJ Brown has the chance of developing into one of the most lethal QB-WR duos in football. The Titans have something special, it would be idiotic to not keep their core together.