Dolphins coach Gase on Tannehill: “He just can’t throw” at this time’’
The Dolphins would stand to reap enormous salary cap savings if they cut Ryan Tannehill after this season, even in the unlikely event that the injury sidelines him into next season.
If the Dolphins release Tannehill after the season, they would owe him nothing more financially because none of money in the final two seasons of his contract (through 2020) is guaranteed.
Exploring the scenarios:
▪ If Tannehill is on the team next season under terms of his current contract, he would be paid an $18.7 million base salary in 2019, with a $26.6 million cap hit.
▪ If the Dolphins cut him after this season without a post June 1 designation, the Dolphins would have $13.4 million in dead money on its 2019 cap as a result of Tannehill’s contract but would have a cap savings of $13.2 million.
▪ But if Dolphins release Tannehill with a post June 1 designation, the Dolphins would have $7.9 million in dead money on its 2019 cap as a result of Tannehill’s contract but would have a cap savings of $18.75 million.
But the flip side of that scenario would be that Miami’s cap would carry another $5.6 million of Tannehill’s dead money in 2020.
But the Dolphins would not get that cap savings until after June 1 next year, long after the top free agents have signed contracts.
The Dolphins will decide after the season whether to retain Tannehill, who on Sunday will miss his 22nd game in the past three seasons.
▪ According to a source who shared a copy of his contract, Tannehill does not have injury protection that would guarantee his salary in the event he misses a season after being released — unlike Indianapolis Colts quarterback’s Andrew Luck’s contract.
Asked about Luck’s shoulder injury, which required surgery after the 2016 season and sidelined him all of last season, coach Adam Gase reiterated Thursday that surgery is not a consideration for Tannehill’s injury.
But if doctors were to determine that Tannehill needs surgery that would sideline him all of 2019 — and that’s unlikely — the Dolphins could still release him after this season and reap the exact aforementioned cap savings. But Tannehill, in that scenario, would be paid $1.2 million under terms of the collective bargaining agreement’s injury protection clause (Article 45, Section 2).
The Dolphins have declined to specify Tannehill’s precise injury. He has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against Detroit, and several Dolphins people do not expect him to play the following Thursday at Houston.
He was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice but did not throw any passes.
Asked how many days doctors have told Tannehill he should not throw, Gase said: “They don’t know…. He can throw tomorrow if he wanted to. It might not feel very good.”
Gase disputed any notion that Tannehill has been put “on a rest plan” by doctors.
Asked if he will be evaluated late in the week to determine when he should start throwing again, Gase said: “I have no idea.”
Receiver Kenny Stills said of Tannehill: “I know he’s upset and wants to be out there. We definitely feel for him. That’s our quarterback.”
Brock Osweiler will start for the Dolphins against Detroit on Sunday.
“People think there’s a huge difference,” Lions safety Glover Quin told the Detroit Free Press, speaking of Tannehill and Osweiler. “Yeah, Tannehill may run a little more, but it’s not like Brock can’t run. I don’t know if it’s going to be that much of a difference in what they try to do offensively, but we’ll be ready to go.”
THIS AND THAT
▪ Defensive end Cameron Wake again participated in practice on a limited basis, but Gase said it’s still not clear if he will play Sunday.
“He’s not going to BS me,” Gase said. “With him, you’ll get the right answer. You can’t get that from everybody.”
Defensive ends Charles Harris (calf) and Jonathan Woodard (concussion) remained unable to practice Thursday. And defensive end Andre Branch (knee) remained limited.
▪ Running back Frank Gore said NFL Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk texted him with a “you looked good” message after Gore ran for 101 yards Sunday against Chicago.
“I ask him what I should be doing,” Gore said. “I tell him to be real with me. He said I can still play.”
Gore took himself out of the game before Kenyan Drake’s overtime fumble because “Kenyan was the fresher guy. I would do it again.”
Gore, 35, hasn’t made a decision whether to play next season but said “if this organization wants me... I will continue to do it.”
▪ Gase said Dolphins defensive backs have nicknamed receiver Jakeem Grant “the bully” because “he was roughing up a couple guys” in training camp.
“He’s 5-5, 5-6 [actually 5-7] but plays like he’s 6-5,” McCain said. “He’ll block the hell out of people.”
▪ Gase said center Travis Swanson, who started the past four years for Sunday’s opponent (Detroit), “has done a great job, helped us get real movement in the run game,” Gase said. “Pass protection has done a good job with those guards.”