Tannehill has the confidence of power players in the Dolphins' organization. Vice president Mike Tannenbaum, general manager Dennis Hickey and head coach Joe Philbin all endorsed Tannehill this offseason as Miami's long-term solution.
Tannehill also is expected to get a sizable raise. It can come in the form of a fifth-year extension worth approximately $15 million in 2016 or a multi-year extension that could approach $100 million or more.
But the true next step for Tannehill doesn’t involve money, recognition in Miami, or filling up the stat sheet. For Tannehill to truly evolve into a franchise quarterback, he must win more games for the Dolphins.
Here is an important stat to remember for Tannehill: He is just 23-25 as a starter.
Tannehill has never had a winning season in Miami and has yet to lead the Dolphins to the playoffs. His .479 career winning percentage is worse than quarterback counterparts Jay Cutler (.512), Andy Dalton (.625) and Colin Kaepernick (.641). These are all players that Tannehill will be compared to when working out a long-term contract.
A quarterback’s career ultimately will be determined by wins and losses. Tannehill made strides and proved last season that he can put up good numbers. But he won the same amount of games than he won in 2013.
Of course, not every win or loss can be pinned on the quarterback. There are a variety of reasons teams lose games. However, a quarterback has more impact on the field than any other player because he touches the ball on almost every offensive snap. Tannehill is going to get a bulk of the blame or the credit.
Tannehill must win enough games in his fourth season to get the Dolphins over the hump and into the playoffs. Quarterbacks build their reputation in the postseason, which is currently a major void on Tannehill’s resume.