Titans GM: 'Excited about moving forward' with Ryan Tannehill

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tennessee Titans general manager Ran Carthon, speaking Tuesday at the NFL scouting combine, offered some insight regarding his evaluation of quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

"He's been a diligent worker, been in the building every day rehabbing and getting his work in," Carthon said. "So, he is under contract and I am excited about moving forward with him and have a ton of respect for him."

Carthon, asked last month during his introductory news conference about the quarterback's future, had said he needed to further evaluate Tannehill. Tuesday's comments appeared to be a progression from his previous stance.

The Titans have $9.8 million in cap space, according to ESPN's Roster Management System. Tannehill has a $36.6 million cap number this season. The team could save around $18 million in cap space by cutting him.

There also have been reports that the New York Jets are interested in possibly trading for him, especially after naming former Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing their passing-game coordinator.

Carthon noted that Tannehill is under contract and hinted at possibly keeping him this season. The GM declined to comment when asked about possibly restructuring Tannehill's contract to lower his cap number.

"I know everybody wants to make a big deal out of the quarterback position, whether he will or won't be here," Carthon said. "But you guys have to accept the fact that Ryan is under contract for us and right now he is a Titan, and he will be a Titan."

New Titans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly also hinted at Tannehill being around this season.

"He's a great pro," Kelly said. "He checks every box in terms of what you're looking for from that position. I'm excited to continue to work with Ryan."

The Titans were 6-6 with Tannehill as the starter last season. Tennessee was 1-4 in games that Tannehill didn't start.