DAVIE, Fla. – Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has some gaudy statistics, as evident by his 4,045 passing yards last season. As of this week, Tannehill also has a gaudy, $96 million contract extension.
But something Tannehill continues to chase in his NFL career is the playoffs.
This will continue to be a major question with Tannehill until he proves otherwise. Tannehill hasn't had a winning season in Miami, which is a concern. The Dolphins are 7-9, 8-8 and 8-8 in his three seasons.
Football is a team sport, but quarterbacks ultimately are judged by victories, postseason appearances and Super Bowls. Tannehill doesn’t win nearly enough at this stage of his career, but he's optimistic that is about to change.
“We’re here to win; that’s what we get paid to do,” Tannehill said. “That’s why the coaching staff is here, that’s why [GM] Dennis [Hickey] is here -- we’re all trying to find ways to build a winning team and do everything we can to win. ... I think we’re going to win a lot of games.”
The spotlight will be even brighter on Tannehill after his $96 million contract. Tannehill, who played the first three years under his rookie contract, is no longer a bargain for the Dolphins. The team made a big investment this week and it expects a big return.
Tannehill also will be compared now to other big-money quarterbacks around the NFL. The $77 million in "new money" the Dolphins gave Tannehill puts him in the top six at his position, according to agent Pat Dye Jr.
“That’s what you guys do. I don’t say that in a negative term, but that’s your job to compare and write things,” Tannehill said of the comparisons with other quarterbacks. “It doesn’t affect what I do here in the building and the way I play. I prepare to go out and win each and every game. To get better each and every day. What’s written about me or said about me, it has no influence on that.”
It turns out NFL players make comparisons, as well.
The tweet is factually incorrect, however. Tannehill is 23-25 as a starter, but the point is the same. Tannehill must win -- and win big -- to justify his contract.