NFL AM: Dolphins Sign Tannehill to Long-term Deal


Dolphins ink Tannehill to extension

The second-best quarterback in the AFC East – and quite possibly the best in next season’s first four games – is being rewarded as such by the Miami Dolphins.

Ryan Tannehill has signed an extension with the team through 2020 that is worth $96 million, $45 million of which is guaranteed. The contract works out to an average of $16 million per year.

“Signing Ryan to this deal is important to our franchise,” said Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey. “He is a proven quarterback in this league that combines a talented skill set with work ethic, passion, toughness and a team-first mentality.

“We are committed and believe in Ryan as our quarterback for the long term and we are excited to be able to sign him to this extension.”

Surprisingly, Tannehill is the first quarterback of his draft class, which includes Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III, to sign an extension. Of course, now that he has done so, you can bet he will be used as the baseline for their deals. (Which in Griffin’s case may not be one at all.)

Tannehill has made improvement in each of his first three seasons in quarterback rating, yardage and completion percentage. With what should be improved receiving talent around him this fall, he may well prove himself the first Dolphins quarterback worth paying since Dan Marino. No offense to Jay Fiedler.

Patriots and NFL hashing out plea deal?

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Patriots are attempting to work out a plea deal with commissioner Roger Goodell over their penalties in the Deflategate case in a attempt to avoid litigation.

New England has until Friday to file a formal appeal of its $1 million fine and two lost draft picks, which have been levied in addition to Tom Brady’s individual punishment of a four-game unpaid suspension.

Owner Robert Kraft’s only public comments to this point have been to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, but he did not address if the Patriots would actually consider taking their defense to an actual civil court.

“I’m not going to comment on that at this point in time,” Kraft told King. “I’m going to leave it. I won’t say.”

The NFL’s spring meetings, which will include Goodell and the league’s owners, take place Tuesday and Wednesday in San Francisco.

Justin Smith latest 49er to retire

News flash: a key member of the 49ers defense decided to retire this offseason.


Defensive lineman Justin Smith joined former teammates Patrick Willis and Chris Borland in the retirement line, officially announcing his career was over effective Monday.

Smith said his injured left shoulder has not recovered to the point where he’d able to continue playing for a 15th season.

“If you don’t have the tools, you can’t do that job,” he said. “It’s time to go. When you’re on bald tires, you’re on bald tires … it’s a young man’s game. It was just time for me to move on. It was a great ride.”

Smith, who was drafted by the Bengals in 2001, signed with San Francisco as a free agent in 2008 and was one of the key cogs in the team’s renaissance under Jim Harbaugh.

Now, like Harbaugh and six other key members of last season’s 49ers defense – four left via free agency – he won’t be back.

Niners CEO Jed York, who had at least been anticipating the probability Smith would call it quits, bid him a fond farewell.

“Tough. Physical. Durable. Hard-working. Dedicated. Selfless. Justin embodies each of those qualities and brought even more with him to work each and every day,” York said in a team statement. “Whether it was chasing down a wide receiver and forcing a fumble to seal a win, or driving a tackle back into the quarterback’s chest, he gave everything he had every play. Justin has earned the respect of the entire NFL community and he will always be remembered as one of the 49ers all-time greats.”

About Alex Hickey

Alex Hickey

Alex Hickey can vividly recall most significant NFL events going back to Walter Payton's final game in 1987, including the ones that didn't make him cry. Since 2008, his full-time job has been covering college football, specifically McNeese State, for the Lake Charles (La.) American Press. Free time is spent informing, amusing or annoying you for Football Insiders.