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Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins Agree on New Contract: Latest Details and Reaction

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIMay 18, 2015

Steve Mitchell/USA Today

The Miami Dolphins have officially anointed Ryan Tannehill as their franchise quarterback, announcing on Monday that they've signed him to a contract extension through the 2020 season:

Miami Dolphins @MiamiDolphins

We have signed quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a contract extension through the 2020 season! #StrongerTogether http://t.co/pNmJvYeCsX

ESPN Insider Adam Schefter cited a source in reporting that the contract is worth $96 million over six years, with $45 million guaranteed.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk provided the full details of the contract: 

Per a league source, Tannehill receives $21.5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

Another $3.5 million becomes fully guaranteed in March 2016, and another $3.5 million becomes fully guaranteed in 2017. The rest of the guarantees ($16.5 million) become fully guaranteed in 2018.

As a practical matter, then, Tannehill will get $25 million fully guaranteed over the next two seasons — unless the Dolphins cut him before next March and let him walk away with $21.5 million over one year.

On Tuesday, Tannehill commented on the pressure of signing such a large deal, per Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post: "My approach isn't going to change. I'm getting paid more, but I've always taken this game seriously."

"At the end of the day, it's great. It's a blessing. But we're here to to win," Tannehill added, via Jeff Darlington of the NFL Network.

Abramson shared what Dolphins executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum had to say about what Tannehill brings to the team:

Andrew Abramson @AbramsonFL

Tannenbaum on Tannehill: “He is an ascending talent, a team leader and checks all of the boxes you are looking for at the position.”

General manager Dennis Hickey also spoke about Tannehill's new deal, per Dolphins.com's Alain Poupart:

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Signing Ryan to this deal is important to our franchise. 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.

Hickey also praised Tannehill for his growth and professionalism, per Abramson and Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Andrew Abramson @AbramsonFL

Hickey: Ryan brings so much more than play on the field. He's a guy we've seen grow & we're really excited what we've seen in offseason

Omar Kelly @OmarKelly

"He does things the right way. We talk to our young players a lot about being profession....He also brings a toughness and grit,"Hickey said

Tannehill is coming off a career year in 2014, his third season under center in South Beach. The 26-year-old set new personal bests in passing yards (4,045), completion percentage (66.4), yards per attempt (6.86) and tossed 27 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions.

CBSSports.com's Will Brinson offered his take on the extension:

Will Brinson @WillBrinson

Smart of Dolphins to do Tannehill deal now. If you let Wilson/Luck/Cam reset the market you get killed on this contract.

Adam Levitan of Rotoworld is optimistic about Tannehill's future with a revamped supporting cast:

Adam Levitan @adamlevitan

Ryan Tannehill had zero chemistry w/ Mike Wallace. Hartline immune to TDs. Clay was hurt. Yet Tanny still finished as fantasy's No. 9 QB.

Adam Levitan @adamlevitan

Now Tannehill has DeVante Parker, Jordan Cameron, Kenny Stills plus Landry. Year 2 with Lazor. Easy target for us "Wait on QB" advocates.

Miami is indeed doing all it can to surround its talented young signal-caller with weapons in a bid to return to the playoffs for the first time since the 2008 campaign.

Knowing that Tannehill had scant experience as a college starting quarterback, Miami realized it'd be a while before he put everything together. The Texas A&M product showed signs of doing so last season—evidently enough to merit a huge contract extension.

He has the potential to be Miami's first long-term answer at the position since the legendary Dan Marino retired.

The 2015 season is a big one, and while Tannehill's future may be secure, coach Joe Philbin may be in a playoffs-or-bust type of scenario.

The AFC East figures to be tough. The New England Patriots have long reigned supreme in the division and are the defending Super Bowl champions, while the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets have undergone regime changes and boast talented rosters.

As is often the case in the NFL, quarterback play will likely separate who emerges as a legitimate challenger to the Patriots. Led by Tannehill, the team appears confident that it will do so very soon—and for years to come, too.

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