Miami Dolphins Sign Ryan Tannehill: Expectations for the Rookie Quarterback in 2012

Posted on Jul 29 2012 - 1:37pm by Ely Sussman

Negotiations spilled into training camp, but the Miami Dolphins have finally agreed to terms with No. 8 overall draft pick Ryan Tannehill, according to Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel. It’s a four-year, $12.688 million contract that includes a team option for 2016. Most of the salary is guaranteed.

What should be expected of the rookie quarterback?

September starts are definitely out of the question. The converted receiver, who played only two seasons under center at Texas A&M, didn’t excel during offseason workouts.¬†Tannehill would have been a longshot had he reported to camp on time. However, he missed two practices while contesting the offset language of his deal.

From that, we can surmise that the man lacks confidence. Offset language only pertains to players who are released before their contracts expires. So long as Tannehill develops into a quality back-up, that scenario won’t come into play. Evidently, he still has some doubts.

On the other hand, Miami’s offense is tailored to his limited experience. New offensive coordinator Mike Sherman coached him in college and has implemented a West Coast offense that Tannehill should be comfortable in.

Veteran quarterbacks David Garrard and Matt Moore sit ahead of him on the depth chart, but neither are without flaws. The former didn’t even take the field in 2011 after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He hasn’t taken a regular-season snap since undergoing surgery on a herniated disk. Moore, meanwhile, doesn’t have a repeatable throwing motion. This leads to streaks of inaccuracy that cause downfield drives to stall.

ESPN.com’s James Walker reports that Garrard is emerging as the likely Week 1 starter. Tannehill won’t play many meaningful snaps in 2012 unless Garrard suffers a significant injury. Realize, though, that the 34-year-old has had more than eight months to recover from surgery. Durability isn’t much of a concern considering that he played 46 of 48 games for the Jaguars from 2008-2010.

This three-man competition has just begun. Tannehill joined the team for Sunday’s 8 a.m. drills, and the coaching staff will observe several preseason performances before making a decision.

Personally, I foresee him attempting about 50 passes for the Phins in his first year. Hopefully he doesn’t embarrass himself over that small sample size.