Amid Aaron Rodgers trade rumors, Tennessee Titans endorse Ryan Tannehill as QB

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The end of the Tennessee Titans' 2021 season will undoubtedly lead to a variety of theories about how to improve the quarterback situation.

Despite being the top seed in the AFC playoffs, quarterback Ryan Tannehill's three interceptions in the Titans' 19-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the divisional round brought a potential Super Bowl run to a screeching halt.

In the NFC, the Green Bay Packers were the top seed, but they too suffered a frustrating loss, 13-10, to the San Francisco 49ers hours after the Titans were put out of the playoffs. The unexpected defeat left quarterback Aaron Rodgers' future in Green Bay in question.

Rodgers got thrown into the mix of future Titans quarterback options this week. According to Jared Stillman of 102.5 The Game, Rodgers purchased land in Franklin, Tennessee -- a suburb Nashville, where the Titans play -- causing speculation that he could be headed to the Titans.

However, a team source confirmed to ESPN that the Titans don't consider Rodgers to be an option for them at quarterback and have full intentions of moving forward with Tannehill.

Titans general manager Jon Robinson gave Tannehill a vote of confidence when asked about the quarterback situation during an interview at the Senior Bowl on Wednesday as well.

"Ryan’s our quarterback," Robinson said. "He’s made a lot of plays for us. He’s a great leader. He’s extremely tough. Love what Ryan brings to our football team, love what he stands for. We’re looking forward to him getting back in there, and getting back on track, and keeping this thing rolling."

Rodgers is reportedly open to playing for the Titans. But Rodgers is under contract with the Packers through the 2023 season. If the Titans were to obtain Rodgers, it would have to be done via trade.

Adding Rodgers at quarterback would clearly be an upgrade. Rodgers finished with 4,117 passing yards and 37 touchdown passes while being intercepted only four times, and he's the assumed front-runner to be named league MVP.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel endorsed Tannehill as the team's quarterback during locker-cleanout day last month.

"He has elite toughness," Vrabel said. "We have to be great around him. He has shown signs of accuracy, of decision-making, the ability to extend plays and to scramble and leadership. Those are all things that you look for in a quarterback, and Ryan has shown us that."

Being "great around Tannehill" was the approach last season when the Titans acquired wide receiver Julio Jones and a 2023 sixth-round pick in exchange for a 2022 second-round draft pick and a 2023 fourth-rounder from the Atlanta Falcons. Tannehill holds a $38.6 million cap number this season after restructuring his contract to make room for Jones' salary in 2021.

Robinson acknowledged that Tannehill had "some passes that he'd probably like to have back" but said it's no different than any other position. Two of the more significant throws Tannehill would like to have back came on the final offensive plays in each of the past two seasons.

Tannehill was intercepted by Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson, which set up the game-winning field goal in that divisional-round loss, and Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters intercepted Tannehill to seal the win in the opening round of the playoffs the year before.

Tannehill's ultra-efficient quarterback play in 2019 and 2020 helped turn the Titans into an AFC contender. Over that stretch, he threw 55 touchdown passes and had just 13 interceptions, but he managed to finish with only 21 touchdown passes this season.

More importantly, Tannehill was intercepted 14 times as well, which is more than the past two seasons combined.