The Miami Dolphins have announced a long-term extension for quarterback Ryan Tannehill that will keep the 2012 first-round pick in South Beach through the 2020 season. Tannehill was entering the fourth year of his rookie contract, but he had been signed through the 2016 season after the Dolphins picked up his fifth-year option.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the new deal for Tannehill pays him $96 million over six years with $45 million guaranteed, which works out to an average of $16 million per year. He's fully guaranteed $21.5 million when he signs the new contract, per Pro Football Talk, with an additional $3.5 million becoming guaranteed each of the next two years. The remaining $16.5 million in guaranteed money will go into effect in 2018.
Tannehill becomes the first quarterback from the 2012 draft class --- before top-two picks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III -- to sign a multi-year extension. Drafted No. 8 overall out of Texas A&M, Tannehill has started in all 48 possible games through his first three NFL seasons. He's thrown for 11,252 yards and 63 touchdowns and also has 760 yards and four more TDs on the ground.
"Signing Ryan to this deal is important to our franchise," Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey said to the team's website. "He is a proven quarterback in this league that combines a talented skillset with work ethic, passion, toughness, and a team first mentality. We are committed and believe in Ryan as our quarterback for the long-term and we are excited to be able to sign him to this extension."
Last season, Tannehill didn't get off to a great start while averaging a meager 5.03 yards per attempt through his first three games. That led head coach Joe Philbin declining to name him the starter in advance of Miami's game against the Oakland Raiders.
However, Tannehill remained the starter, and from there the 26-year-old finished the best season of his young career. He completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 4,045 yards and 27 touchdowns -- all career highs -- and threw a career-low 12 interceptions. He also rushed for 311 yards and one score. Tannehill became the first Dolphins quarterback not named Dan Marino to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a season.
Before Tannehill, Jay Fiedler, A.J. Feeley, Gus Frerotte, Joey Harrington, Chad Pennington and Chad Henne were the best that Miami could muster up to replace Marino, whose shadow has hung over the Dolphins since his retirement in 2000. Now, though, the Dolphins seem to have found their next long-term quarterback.