With his Dolphins future very much in doubt, Ryan Tannehill made clear Wednesday that he would like to finish his career here and hopes he gets the opportunity.
At this point, that appears unlikely. The Miami Herald reported Sunday that the Dolphins are prepared to move on from Tannehill after seven seasons instead of paying him the $19 million he’s owed each of the next two seasons and carrying a $26.6 million cap hit next season. None of that money is guaranteed.
By cutting or trading him, the Dolphins would clear out $13.2 million in 2019 cap space. It could be $18.7 million in cap savings if he’s released as a post-June 1 designation, but that would come with another dead money hit in 2020.
Tannehill said he has given not one iota of thought about his future.
“You can’t think about it; you can’t,” he said. “What’s the good in wondering and pondering and wasting time? It’s out of my control. The powers that be will make those decisions and we’ll go from there.”
He hopes they keep him. “I have a lot of belief in myself,” he said. “I want to be here and finish my career here. I love this organization. I love competing with the guys on this team. I’ve been here my whole career and love it in South Florida. I’d love to be here.”
Gase said this week that “nobody helps Ryan” – a reference, in part, to the fact Dolphins quarterbacks have taken 48 sacks, which is sixth most in the league.
Asked if he ever privately wonders why he doesn’t get better pass protection or why some of his top weapons have been injured, he said: “You can’t look at the game that way. You have to control what you can control. If you play the what if games you’re not going to be growing as a person and a player.”
Even if this is the end of their time together, Tannehill appreciates the faith Gase has shown in him.
“It has gotten stronger over the years,” Tannehill said. “He came in and let me know he had my back. He has been consistent with that, through the ups and downs. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs.”
According to the Twitter account @classactpod, Tannehill has the NFL’s highest passer rating over the past 20 games (97.1). For the season, he’s 11th in passer rating at 100.4.
THIS AND THAT
DeVante Parker’s non-guaranteed $9.4 million salary for next season would be guaranteed only in the event of an injury that causes him to fail a physical next offseason. But Parker said his impression is that he’s definitely playing Sunday at Buffalo. That will likely be his final game as a Dolphin.
Gase said Parker has practiced as well as he has in three years but “for some reason when we’re getting into the game, I don’t know if he’s trying to be too perfect and it’s slowing him down.”
▪ Xavien Howard, who has missed three games with a knee injury, was non-committal about whether he will play Sunday, and Gase said: “He would really have to push me for me to let him play. He would have to tell me he absolutely, 100 percent, wants to play and feels great. We’re not going to put him out there if he has any kind of pain.”
▪ Defensive end Andre Branch (knee) and safety T.J. McDonald (ankle) did not practice, and Kiko Alonso (knee/hamstring), Howard, Tannehill (shoulder/ankle), Laremy Tunsil, Walt Aikens and Ziggy Hood were limited.
Gase explained that Alonso didn’t play Sunday because “he didn’t look great. It wasn’t like he was ‘this close.’ There was still a little hobble and he looked a little stiff.”
▪ Gase said linebackers Raekwon McMillan and Jerome Baker “are trending in the right direction. Raekwon, his leadership, has really showed up for us. When things have gotten tough, he’s been the guy that steps forward….
“There might be some times where maybe there’s some undisciplined thing that [Baker] does but he ends up making the play. That’s the fine line in defense sometimes, where you can go off the reservation slightly but when you are fast and you’re able to tackle, you can make up for that and you correct it when you get to the sideline.”
▪ The Dolphins gave their MVP award to Howard, the Don Shula Leadership Award to Frank Gore, the Ed Block Courage Award to Tannehill and the Nat Moore Community Award to Kenny Stills for a third consecutive season.