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Ryan Tannehill, Titans Agree to Contract Amid Tom Brady Rumors

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2020

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) passes against the Oakland Raiders during the first half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
D. Ross Cameron/Associated Press

The Tennessee Titans have signed quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a reported four-year, $118 million contract extension ahead of free agency.  

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network first reported the news, saying it was the Titans' priority all along. Earlier Sunday, Dianna Russini of ESPN reported the Titans were not interested in signing Tom Brady and were prioritizing a deal with Tannehill.

According to Jeff Darlington of ESPN, Tannehill's contract is worth $29.5 million per year, with $62 million in fully guaranteed money and a total of $91 million in guaranteed money.

Tannehill later confirmed the deal via a post on his Twitter account:

Ryan Tannehill @ryantannehill1

Tennessee let’s run it back 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 #TITANUP https://t.co/rydM0LSoEN

This represents a significant change in circumstances for Tannehill compared to last season, where he became the backup to Marcus Mariota after seven years with the Miami Dolphins

After Mariota struggled during a 2-4 start to the 2019 season for Tennessee, Tannehill took over and transformed the offense. He finished with 2,598 passing yards and 22 touchdowns in 10 starts beginning in Week 7.

The Titans went 7-3 after the midseason quarterback change to reach the postseason before shockingly reaching the AFC Championship Game. Though running back Derrick Henry was the star of the show, Tannehill made clutch plays to help upset the Patriots and Ravens.

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The strong play caused the Titans to gain interest in keeping the 31-year-old under control for at least another year via the franchise tag, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Russini later reported the team wanted to sign him to a new deal instead of using the tag.

While there was speculation about finding alternatives at quarterback in free agency, including Tom Brady, the two sides were eventually able to agree on a contract that keeps Tannehill on the team going into 2020.

Considering he agreed to a one-year deal last offseason with just $7 million in guarantees, this is a nice step up for the veteran quarterback.

Tennessee is also banking on this not being a fluke of a season from Tannehill. The 2012 first-round pick was unspectacular during his time with Miami and was traded last offseason along with a sixth-round draft pick for fourth- and seventh-round selections.

He posted an 87.0 quarterback rating during his stretch with Miami, only producing a winning record in one season.

The quarterback was much more efficient in Tennessee with a league-leading 117.5 passer rating, potentially showing that he has turned the corner in his career.

Tannehill will get a chance to prove he deserves this new contract in 2020 while leading a Titans squad that should have high expectations entering the year.

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