Miami Dolphins

Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill insists he never taunted teammate over ‘paycheck’

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

Ryan Tannehill is livid about a National Football Post report that, in Tannehill’s view, erroneously accused him of telling a scout team player to “enjoy your practice squad paycheck.”

Speaking with reporters Wednesday, Tannehill held little back.

“Yeah, I’m upset,” Tannehill said. “Honestly, it’s slanderous to report things that I didn’t say. To put words in my mouth that I didn’t say and to degrade my reputation and what I stand for, honestly, it’s sickening to me. On top of that, just the fact that something inside the locker room gets out, honestly it gets me upset.”

The controversy stems from an incident Saturday in London — which was incidentally Joe Philbin’s final practice as Dolphins coach.

The Miami Herald reported Monday that Tannehill grew angry when linebacker Chris McCain did something more aggressive than typical for a Saturday practice, saying something to the effect that he would prepare a scout team trophy for him.

Other outlets also reported that he made a comment about a practice squad player’s salary. That never happened, Tannehill insisted.

“I got upset,” Tannehill acknowledged. “I said nothing about a paycheck or anything close to that. I know everybody in this building works hard every single day, so I respect guys and I would never take a shot like that.”

Tannehill added: “Am I happy about everything I said? No. The way things went down? No. But I hold myself to a higher standard than to take a shot at someone like that, especially guys that I work with every day and I respect how they go about their business.”

The fact that someone’s airing out our dirty laundry from within, it’s a bad feeling.

Ryan Tannehill

Center Mike Pouncey backed up Tannehill’s version of events, calling the report “[expletive].”

“He doesn’t deserve that,” Pouncey said.

The dust-up was just the latest in a long line of leaks that undermined Philbin and his coaching staff and gave the impression of a team in disarray.

That needs to stop, Tannehill said.

“Someone’s leaking, obviously,” Tannehill said. “I don’t think it’s a huge problem where everyone’s running to say everything that happened here, but I’d like to think as a team, when something happens in this building or out on the practice field, whatever it may be, that we protect each other and represent each other well. The fact that someone’s airing out our dirty laundry from within, it’s a bad feeling.”

Miami Herald reporter Adam Beasley Miami Dolphins report from outside the training facility in Davie, Florida. Video by Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald Staff

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