Ryan Tannehill did what seemed impossible. After being written off by the Miami Dolphins, he brought the Tennessee Titans within one win of a Super Bowl berth, and he took home the NFL's Most Improved Player award.
It has been an incredible turnaround for the 31-year-old Tannehill, who spent seven frustrating years with the Miami Dolphins. Ever since the Titans benched Marcus Mariota in Week 6, Tannehill has been one of the best quarterbacks in football. He ended the year with the league's best passer rating, threw for 2,742 yards in just 10 starts, and had a 22-to-6 TD-to-INT ratio.
All that said, Tannehill will be an unrestricted free agent after this season after only signing a 1-year, $7 million deal with the Titans before the season. Given the state of NFL quarterbacking, there are several teams who could take a gamble on the Tannehill revolution and pay up for his services in the 2020 offseason.
1. Carolina Panthers
If the Panthers decide to make a full reset and move on from Cam Newton, Tannehill could be an intriguing option. While the Panthers could also make a move in the NFL Draft, burning another year of Christian McCaffrey's prime with a rookie quarterback is not an enticing option, especially with a couple of teams ahead of them likely to draft QBs. The Panthers have enough talent on the roster to make a potential playoff run in 2020, and Tannehill could be a good transitional quarterback before the franchise shifts to Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert.
2. Tennessee Titans
This is a no-brainer. The Titans do not have a quarterback under contract for 2020 and hold $57 million in cap space. They also have a bona fide folk hero that has led them to the AFC Championship game. Yet bringing back Tannehill raises some interesting questions for the Titans. For one, if another team is willing to offer him a huge deal, do the Titans want to commit to that kind of money? We've seen massive deals offered to Kirk Cousins (three years, $84 million), Matt Ryan (five years, $150 million), and Derek Carr (five years, $125 million). Tannehill's 12 games of work have shown enough promise to earn him a big guaranteed contract, meaning committing to him long-term will be a franchise-altering move, whether it works out well or not. Still, given their situation, the Titans must make a compelling offer for Tannehill before letting him walk.
3. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts were sent into a tailspin after Andrew Luck's shocking retirement, but signing Tannehill could help bring things back under control. Jacoby Brissett was underwhelming last season, and the Colts can cut him with no salary cap penalty. For now, Frank Reich has reiterated that Brissett is the starter, but if Tannehill becomes available, the Colts will need to take a look. The Colts have a huge amount of money coming off the books and are in position to give Tannehill a massive contract if they see fit, which would have the added benefit of keeping him away from their AFC South rivals.
4. New England Patriots
If Tom Brady doesn't come back to New England, anything is on the table for the Patriots. Tannehill could certainly be at the top of Bill Belichick's list, as the Patriots are still built to win in the short term. We have no idea how any non-Brady quarterback would fit in the Patriots system (except for maybe Jimmy Garoppolo), but the 2019 version of Tannehill would be a great fit. Even if Tannehill is expensive, he may still be cheaper than signing Brady. If Tannehill doesn't get as much interest on the open market as expected, the Patriots could swoop in and sign the quarterback that defeated them in this year's playoffs. With Brady's future increasingly uncertain, the Patriots must be considering other options, and few would put them in a better position for the 2020 season than Tannehill.
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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.