Ryan Tannehill Earns $3.4 Million in Incentives After Breakout 2019-20 NFL Season With Titans

Tristan Jung
Ryan Tannehill throws a pass in the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Ryan Tannehill throws a pass in the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs. / Tom Pennington/Getty Images

When Ryan Tannehill was traded from the Miami Dolphins to the Tennessee Titans, not much was expected. After six underwhelming years in Miami, Tannehill was offered a low-risk, incentive-laden contract with just $1.75 million in base salary. Thanks to his surprising 2019-20 season, Tannehill has earned back $3.42 million after hitting numerous incentives.

Tennessee and Tannehill hit the jackpot in 2019-20, making the AFC Championship Game with two huge upsets over the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots. Despite last Sunday's 35-24 loss to the Chiefs, Tannehill's 10 brilliant regular season starts and the Titans' run in the playoffs won over many doubters. Those performances have also earned him a huge payday.

Tannehill made $250,000 just for staying on the 46-man roster for all 13 games, a testament to how little was expected. He made another $1 million for having a passer rating above 96.0, another number that shows what the Titans were thinking. Tannehill crushed that number and led the league with a 117.5 passer rating. He also made $100,000 per game in which he accounted for more than 50% of plays, earning him another $1 million. Each of his seven wins earned him $25,000. He also got another $1 million for throwing for more than 2,250 passing yards and 20 touchdowns, which he achieved with relative ease. In total, his payout was $3.42 million.

Of course, the Titans still got great value out of the contract. Tannehill was a highly effective replacement for Marcus Mariota, and he definitely overperformed his deal. The big losers are Miami, who paid Tannehill a $5 million signing bonus to get a better draft pick and make the playoffs with another team. Still, both franchises are probably better off, with the Dolphins finding new hope with Brian Flores, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and a top-five pick in the NFL Draft and the Titans rejuvenating Tannehill's career.

With Tannehill set to be a free agent in 2020, a big contract is likely to land on his doorstep. While his age and the 13-start sample size likely won't earn him a typical QB mega-contract, whichever team signs him will pay far more than the $1.75 million base salary he made in 2019.

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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.