I would pump my first too!
In the NFL these days, if you have a quarterback, you’re in the game. You have a shot. If you don’t have a quarterback, you’re not and you don’t. Simple as that. The Miami Dolphins made sure they remained one of the teams that do have a shot, as they re-signed Ryan Tannehill to a monster 6-year/$96 million contract.
Did the Dolphins spend too much for a QB that has yet to lead them to a playoff berth? If you’re speaking on the terms of what he’s produced on the field in his three seasons? I would say probably so. However, if you’re speaking on the terms of the Dolphins staying the course from being one of the worst teams in the NFL just a few seasons ago, to respectability, to being a serious playoff contender, then this is absolutely the right move.
Tannehill doesn’t have the strongest arm in the world. He also doesn’t run the fastest. However, he’s adequate at both, and he’s a competitor. Tannehill, threw the ball at a 66.4% clip last season with 27 TD’s and 12 INTS. He also ran for over 300 yards. Not bad numbers, especially when you consider the Dolphins really didn’t have top-tier weapons for him to get the ball to. That’s about to change.
Mike Wallace , was supposed to be a player of that caliber, but he was never the receiver Miami thought he could be when they picked him up from Pittsburgh. Part of that could be looked at as Tannehill’s inability to get the ball down field. He’s far better at throwing to short and intermediate routes. Still, Wallace’s lack of production was a problem. That’s why they sent him packing after picking up Kenny Stills from New Orleans and the emergence last season of Jarvis Landry from LSU. Stills, the former Saint, had a knack for getting open deep, and Drew Brees was usually quick to connect with him. Of course, lining up next to Jimmy Graham certainly made things a bit easier on Stills.
The Dolphins’ off-season moves didn’t stop there. In fact, Miami has undoubtedly had one of the best off-seasons around the league. In addition to making what may have been the biggest signing in free-agency, by grabbing Ndamukong Suh from the Detroit Lions to anchor what should be a strong defense. Adding tight-end Jordan Cameron should also be a big help. Cameron, a pro-bowler in 2013 has the ability to make big plays down the middle of the field. That should take pressure off of Stills, and Landry. While, providing that big go-to-target for Tannehill.
Dolphins head coach, Joe Philbin still has his work cut out. But, even after not making the playoffs in 2014, there seemed to be a feel in Miami of the foundation being set. That feeling has gotten even stronger with these excellent off-season moves. Tannehill, isn’t going to be confused with Aaron Rodgers , or Andrew Luck , but his signing was essential for the Dolphins’ continued growth. While, so many teams are looking for a QB, the Dolphins aren’t. Could the Phins be ready to truly contend this season? The AFC East could be as wide open as it will ever be. The Bills and Jets STILL don’t have a QB, and thanks to ‘Deflategate’ the Super Bowl champion Patriots will be without Tom Brady for at least a couple of weeks,and as many as four.
If you’re a Dolphins fan, you should be excited. A playoff run is definitely in reach. Now, it’s just time for Tannehill and company to get it done…..
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