Miami Dolphins Ryan Tannehill
Photo Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

After seven seasons as the quarterback of the Miami Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill has been traded to the Tennessee Titans. In a move that surprised NFL fans, the Dolphins were able to move Tannehill in exchange for a 2020 fourth-round pick.

Most people expected the Miami Dolphins to end up releasing the former 8th overall pick due to a lack of interest from other teams. But first-time general manager Chris Grier was able to pull off the improbable. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, trading Tannehill will save roughly $33 million in cap space over the next two years. This cap freedom won’t come in to play much this offseason. Next offseason, however, Miami will be primed to be spenders on the open market.

The Dolphins are shipping Tannehill and a 2019 6th-round pick to Tennessee in exchange for a 2019 7th-round pick and a 2020 4th-round pick. Tannehill is the third high profile quarterback to be traded in the last month. The Washington Redskins had to give up a 6th-round pick to acquire Case Keenum from the Denver Broncos. Denver was willing to send Keenum to Washington after sending a 4th-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for Joe Flacco.

2019 will be the first season since 2012 that Miami will have a competition for their starting quarterback job. Miami currently has two quarterbacks under contract after failing to sign home town kid Teddy Bridgewater. Those two quarterbacks have combined for just 5 pass attempts in NFL games. Therefore, it’s likely that Miami will add another veteran QB and could still draft one in next month’s NFL Draft.

What this means for Tannehill

Tannehill finishes his career in Miami with a 42-46 record as the starting quarterback. He also finishes 3rd in the organization’s history for passing yards and touchdowns (behind Hall of Famers Dan Marino and Bob Griese).

Tannehill never could overcome his shortcomings in Miami. But that’s not due to lack of effort. For seven seasons, Tannehill has devoted all he could to win games for the Dolphins. Unfortunately, he could never seem to put it all together and play at a high level consistently. Often, Tannehill would make elite-level throws but follow that up with passes that left fans wondering what he was thinking.

Tannehill will get the fresh start he needs in Tennessee where he can back up oft-injured Marcus Mariota. Mariota has yet to play a full 16 games in his career. He has also missed snaps during games on multiple occasions. If Mariota’s track record continues, there’s a chance that Tannehill will play some meaningful snaps in 2019.

In Tennessee, Tannehill will be considered one of the best backups in the league. If he gets an opportunity to start again, fans can expect to see a player who is well prepared and gives everything he has every play.

Tannehill’s legacy in Miami will be one of unreached potential. He never met the expectations that come with being a top 10 pick. But whether you loved or hated him, Dolphins fans should appreciate his effort and class on and off the field.