The Tennessee Titans significantly upgraded their backup quarterback position on Friday by trading for Ryan Tannehill.

Tennessee sent a 2020 fourth round pick and a 2019 seventh round pick to the Miami Dolphins for Tannehill and a 2019 sixth round pick.

The most important detail in this deal is that Tannehill is agreeing to restructure his contract. The former Dolphin was owed a base salary of $18.725 million in 2019. He previously carried a dead cap hit of just over $13 million.

In Tennessee, Tannehill will make $7 million over one year (fully guaranteed). Incentives could push the deal to $12 million.

I think this deal is a win for the Titans, mostly because of the restructured contract.

It’s obvious the Titans need a better backup quarterback for Mariota, who is almost guaranteed at this point to miss a game or two (or several halfs) each season.

While the Titans are still deciding whether or not Mariota is their franchise quarterback, they don’t want to risk missing the playoffs for a second year in a row. Especially with all of the improvements Jon Robinson has made this week.

Having Tannehill as a backup gives the Titans probably the best No. 2 quarterback in the NFL. And I don’t think anyone can underestimate how important it is to have a great No. 2 quarterback. Just ask the Philadelphia Eagles, who rode Nick Foles to a Super Bowl win in 2018 after Carson Wentz went down.

Giving up a fourth round pick for a backup quarterback might be hard for some folks to swallow. But how many fourth round picks have we seen blown on players who never reach their potential (three years ago the Titans blew a second round pick on Kevin Dodd, for example)? It seems fairly smart to use that pick to land a proven player at an extremely important position.

Let’s also not forget that Tennessee will now likely release Blaine Gabbert, who is scheduled to make $2 million in 2019. The Titans will save $1.5 million by releasing him, meaning the addition of Tannehill will only cost Tennessee an additional $5.5 million.

That’s not bad for a significant upgrade at a position that likely cost the Titans a playoff spot last season.


It looks like the financial end of the deal might be even better for the Titans than previously thought.

Featured image via Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

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