Ryan Tannehill’s short-term status is clear. The Miami Dolphins quarterback will miss at least the next two weeks of action to heal his throwing shoulder, before he returns at some point this season. However, Tannehill’s long-term status in Miami—even just beyond 2018—remains in “doubt,” according to The Miami Herald.
For Tannehill to stay with the Dolphins, he would have to take a pay cut from the $26.6 million he is owed for the 2019 season. If the two sides cannot agree on a revised contract, the Dolphins will ultimately cut ties with the quarterback they selected eighth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Dolphins can save $13.2 million in cap space if they release Tannehill this offseason.
Backup quarterback Brock Osweiler played terrific in place of the injured Tannehill last week, throwing for 380 yards and three TDs in the overtime win against the Chicago Bears' vaunted defense. Osweiler will start on Sunday versus the Detroit Lions and is expected to be the signal-caller the following week against the Houston Texans, his former team.
Tannehill started in every possible game in the first four seasons of his career (2012-15), before injuries derailed him the past three years. Tannehill suffered a partially torn ACL towards the end of the 2016 season. Tannehill posted an 8-5 record in 13 starts before his season-ending injury in December, helping the Dolphins reach the postseason. He was unable to suit up for their lone playoff contest—a loss in the Wild-Card round to the host Pittsburgh Steelers. Tannehill missed the entire 2017 campaign after again partially tearing his ACL, this time getting hurt during the team’s first non-contact 11-on-11 practice of the season in early-August.
The Dolphins won their first three games of the 2018 season under Tannehill, who threw for seven touchdowns with just two interceptions in the team’s 3-0 start. But Tannehill and the Dolphins came crashing down to earth in Week 4 with a humiliating 38-7 defeat to the perennial powerhouse New England Patriots. Tannehill failed to record a TD, firing one interception in the loss. The following week he threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, in Miami’s 27-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Even if the backup slinger Osweiler can lead the Dolphins to victories versus the Lions and on the road against the Texans, the starting QB gig will almost certainly be handed back to Tannehill when he returns from injury. That will give Tannehill one final chance to impress the Dolphins’ brass enough to retain his services beyond this season.