2019: The Trade of Ryan Tannehill

Since Dan Marino retired following the 1999 season, the Miami Dolphins, and their fans, have been searching for their next franchise quarterback.

Palm Beach Post

That search lead them far and wide and meant that a lot of quarterbacks have gotten chances to start along the way.

Like, a lot a lot. As in 25 different starting quarterbacks in 22 years.

For dramatic effect, here’s the full list of starting quarterbacks since Marino:

Jay Fiedler, Damon Huard, Ray Lucas, Brian Griese, A.J. Feeley, Sage Rosenfels, Gus Frerotte, Daunt Culpepper, Joey Harrington, Cleo Lemon, Trent Green, John Beck, Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen, Matt Moore, Ryan Tannehill, Jay Cutler, Brock Osweiler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen, Tua Tagovailoa, Jacoby Brissett, Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson

So whenever you have a chance to get your franchise guy, you take that chance. That’s really only happened twice over the course of those 22 years with Ryan Tannehill in 2012 and Tua Tagovailoa in 2020.

So let’s talk about RT17, his development as a quarterback and ultimately what lead to Miami ultimately moving on. To do that, I’ll take you through a snippet of each season from his rookie year through the trade itself. Doing so really drives home why this trade would eventually occur.

Chuck Burton – Associated Press

2012 – Rookie Year

Drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft out of Texas A&M, Ryan Tannehill won the starting job that offseason and immediately began his career as the Miami Dolphins starting quarterback.

And did we mention he was a wide receiver in college until his final year? (insert joke about how this came up during every broadcast. Every. Single. One.)

During his first season as the signal caller, Ryan Tannehill passed for 3294 yards, 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions – good for a quarterback rating of 76.1.

  • 20th in yards
  • 27th most touchdowns
  • 16th most interceptions
  • 27th in quarterback rating / 20th in QBR

The team finished with a 7-9 record.

2013 – Year 2

Ryan Tannehill experience some decent jumps in his second season, finishing with 3913 yards (+ YoY), 24 touchdowns (+ YoY) and 17 interceptions (+ YoY) resulting in an improved quarterback rating of 81.7 (+).

  • 10th in yards
  • 14th most touchdowns
  • Tie-7th most interceptions
  • 24th in quarterback rating / 25th in QBR

The team finished with an 8-8 record.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

2014 – Year 3: the big jump?

Ryan’s third season as the starting quarterback saw his biggest jump yet, finishing with 4045 yards (+), 27 touchdowns (+) and 12 interceptions (-) – resulting in his best quarterback rating yet of 92.8 (+).

  • 11th in yards
  • 12th most touchdowns
  • 14th most interceptions
  • 14th in quarterback rating / 15th in QBR

The team, again, finished with an 8-8 record.

2015 – Year 4: another big jump incoming?

Pressing on to year 4, Ryan Tannehill again saw growth in yards but started to see a bit of a drop in some other categories. Ryan finished the season with 4208 yards (+), 24 touchdowns (-) and 12 interceptions (=) for a quarterback rating of 88.7 (-).

  • 9th in yards
  • 15th most touchdowns
  • 12th most interceptions
  • 21st in quarterback rating / 28th in QBR

The team finished with a 6-10 record.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

2016 – Year 5: the rebound year?

2016 was a roller coaster year for Ryan Tannehill. In the midst of new head coach Adam Gase working to get the most out of his 26 year year old signal caller, and seemingly succeeding, Ryan would unfortunately tear his ACL in week 13 and miss the rest of the season.

Not only would this end his season, but it also resulted in him missing the teams first playoff berth in 8 seasons and prove to be the beginning a downward trajectory for our young QB.

Across his 13 games played that season, Ryan Tannehill would throw for 2,995 yards (-), 19 touchdowns (-) and 12 interceptions (=) for a quarterback rating of 93.5.

The team would finish with a 10-6 record, 8-5 with Ryan as the starter.

I won’t breakdown his position ranks as he did not complete a full season. However, his quarterback rating in games played was on pace to be his best yet and 12th best in the NFL.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2017 – Year 6: The Lost Season

Ryan Tannehill’s 2017 season was done before it could even get off the ground.

As shared in my article “2017: Signing Jay Cutler” regarding the treatment Ryan Tannehill opted for in the wake of his ACL tear in 2016:

As for treatment, Tannehill opted for stem-cell therapy and rehab over surgery on his ACL to minimize the amount of time he would miss from the game he loved. However, he would fully tear that same ACL in training camp the following season.

– DolphinsDigest.com

Ryan Tannehill’s 2017 season was done before it could even get off the ground.

2018 – Year 7: his last in Miami

Three games missed in 2016. 16 games missed in 2017. 5 more games missed in 2018.

The teams once iron-man had been hit with the injury bug at the end of 2016 and by 2018 still hadn’t shaken free from it’s grasp.

Ryan would play 11 games in 2018, his last in Miami, throwing for just 1979 yards, 17 touchdowns and 9 interceptions for a passer rating of 92.7.

Ryan would finish with a 5-6 record as the starter with the team finishing at 7-9.

The bright spot that season, of course, was the Miami Miracle which would never have been possible without that first completed pass by Ryan Tannehill.

After the season ended, HC Adam Gase was relieved of his position, as was VP of Player Personnel Mike Tannenbaum, and a new era of Miami Dolphins football would begin.

Wade Payne-Associated Press

The Trade

After the 2018 season, the Miami Dolphins began a rebuild that I absolutely plan to cover in future articles. That rebuild would require the team to hit the metaphorical reset button on the salary cap, and roster, resulting in cuts and trades of some of the older, veteran players. Ryan Tannehill would be one of those players.

On March 15, 2019 Ryan Tannehill was be traded to the Tennessee Titans. Here’s a look at the deal:

  • Miami Sent: Ryan Tannehill and 2019 6th round pick
  • Tennessee Sent: 2020 4th round pick and a 2019 7th round pick.

Tennessee didn’t know it at the time, as Marcus Mariota was the teams starting QB, but they had just acquired their future playoff winning signal caller for a 4th round pick. Note: that pick would become former Miami Dolphin Solomon Kindley

For Miami, this trade signaled the end of an era and the beginning of a new age of Miami Dolphins football. An age that would lead them to their second big swing at the franchise quarterback bat since Marino retired – Tua Tagovailoa – and a lot more winning.

Thank you for seven seasons as our Quarterback Ryan! I wish you continued success as a Titan – except when you play Miami.