The Dolphins soap opera with quarterback Ryan Tannehill that has gone on for the past three seasons came to an end on Friday. However not with an outright release, but instead with a creative trade with the Tennessee Titans.
So it’s the Joe Flacco trade, with a touch of the Case Keenum trade mixed in. https://t.co/4i1SWDPwOy
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2019
Obviously, Miami GM Chris Grier and Tennessee GM John Robinson had been in discussion for Tannehill, and a creative way in which Miami could get much-needed salary cap relief, while Tennessee got a quality backup for their star-starter Marcus Mariota.
So, as part of this deal the Dolphins are paying a large portion of Tannehill’s new contract signing bonus at $5 million dollars of actual money. And, while that will not give great salary-cap relief to the Fins for this season (as Tannehill’s dead money is $18 million) it will help them for 2020 on the cap:
Dolphins picked up $5 million of $7 million guarantee Titans give Tannehill. That was a way to get a better draft pick out of Titans in 2020.
Team saves $8 million in 2019 cap space. There's $18 million in dead money. Team saves $25 million in 2020 cap. No dead money.
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) March 15, 2019
The incentive for doing this deal was when Tennessee apparently agreed to give Miami a better draft pick in the 2020 draft. That will now be a 4th rounder next year and the teams swapped draft picks for the upcoming 2019 draft. Tennessee now has Miami’s six rounder and the Dolphins the Titans 7th rounder.
This trade is out of the same creative mold of what the Browns did two years ago when they accepted Brock Osweiler and his $70 million contract that they could absorb under the cap from the Texans in exchange for Houston giving them a second pick.
Tennessee wanted to make this trade, as insurance against Mariota being injured as he has been throughout his career. That included him being out critical games down the stretch of this season, when Tennessee had to turn to back up Blaine Gabbert.
Tannehill leaves the Dolphins after two recent injury-plagued seasons. After tearing his ACL at the end of 2016, Tannehill elected not to have surgery. Instead, he went the route of physical therapy and strengthening the knee, but it betrayed him, when he was injured in training camp of 2017 during a practice.
Then, Tannehill did have the surgery and missed the entire 2017 season. He returned to start 2018 helping the Dolphins win their first three games before suffering a shoulder injury in an October game with the Bengals that sidelined him for another five games.
Miami eventually lost their final three games of the season to finish at 7 -9 and missed the playoffs for the second straight year. That led Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to fire coach Adam Gase, and the handwriting was on the wall that Tannehill at both a high price in actual money and salary cap space would be gone one way or the other.
The larger question is what do the Dolphins do now in trying to find a veteran through free agency or another possible trade? And, now they look towards the distinct possibility of drafting a quarterback in the first two rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft.
Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa present to start NFL combine
The NFL Scouting Combine is getting underway in Indianapolis this week and on Monday morning, one of the prized quarterbacks that will be available early in the first round of the draft was there for official measurements and to meet with teams.
Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, whose season ended with a fractured hip last November, is on the road to recovery and he was officially measured and also, met with numerous teams that are looking at the possibility of drafting him:
Tua Tagovailoa measured at 6-0, 217 pounds at the NFL combine today. Left throwing hand at 10”
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) February 24, 2020
In addition to not only the injured hip, but also a history of high ankle sprain problems, Tagovailoa has got to answer critics on his size. At just 6 – 0 feet there will be concerns about his ability to clearly see downfield through the massive bodies on NFL Sundays.
However, this can be combated by moving him around out of the pocket and that’s something that Alabama was successful at doing over his three years as well.
As we wrote recently, Tagovailoa was injured in Alabama’s 10th game of the season suffering a fractured hip on a sack late in the first half at Mississippi State. He missed the Tide’s final two regular-season games and then, their Citrus Bowl win January 1st, over Michigan
He came to Alabama from Hawaii and the same high school as Marcus Mariota, having thrown for over 8,000 yards which at that time was a Hawaii High School record. And, he had a career of 84 passing and 27 rushing touchdowns in three seasons.
Tua burst onto the scene nationally, when he relieved Jalen Hurts in the second half and overtime of Alabama’s thrilling title game win over Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship Game. Tagovailoa threw the game-winning touchdown pass on the first overtime possession, as Alabama celebrated their fifth National Title in nine seasons under Saban.
In his second season at the helm in the 2018 regular season, Tagovailoa was named second-team AP All-American and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, as the Tide reached the National Title game, again, before being beaten soundly by Clemson 12 months ago.
As this junior season unfolded, Tagovailoa was named almost became synonymous with the Dolphins, who started the season horribly at 0 – 7 and the moniker “Tank for Tua” began to gain momentum in South Florida.
Tagovailoa is obviously on the Dolphins list to look at strongly to select in the top five in the draft and currently, Miami is slated to pick fifth.
It is expected that Tagovailoa will work out for teams probably later in March or maybe even, early April at the Tide’s facility in Tuscaloosa, prior to the NFL draft coming to Las Vegas.
Colorado announced hire of Dolphins assistant Dorrel Sunday
Former UCLA coach and recently promoted Dolphins assistant Karl Dorrell is headed back to college, as the new head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes.
The school confirmed Dorrell’s hire on Sunday evening with a five-year contract to take over their Big 12 program:
We'd like to officially introduce you to our new HC, Karl Dorrell.
— Colorado Buffaloes Football (@CUBuffsFootball) February 23, 2020
The Buffaloes have been seeking a head coach since there coach Mel Tucker abruptly left to take the Michigan State job earlier this month.
Dorrell came to the dolphins with Brian Flores this past season, as wide receiver coach and earlier last week was promoted to assistant head coach for the upcoming season. Miami’s top receiver, DeVante Parker, blossomed under Dorrell’s tutelage as the year went on. He finished the season with 72 catches for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns becoming the favorite target of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Dorrel is the latest Dolphins assistant on the move. Flores fired the offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea he brought with him from New England. And, his defensive coordinator Patrick Graham left to take the same job with the Giants.
Dorrell had also been the Dolphins receivers coach, previously from 2008 – 10 and then, their quarterbacks coach in 2011 under the late Tony Sparano.
“I am excited that Karl Dorrell has agreed to become our head football coach,” George said. “Karl has had great success as a college coach, both as a head coach and an assistant, and he knows the Pac-12 Conference and West Coast well. It was important that our next coach have CU ties, and Karl has those ties having worked at CU twice previously. Karl shares my passion for Colorado and our vision for winning championships. He will be a tremendous mentor and role model for our student-athletes, and he will provide great leadership for our program going forward.”
The CU Board of Regents still have to approve Dorrell’s contract, which will be $18 million for five seasons.
Dorrell had previously been on Colorado staffs two other times in his career, including most recently as offensive coordinator under Rick Neuheisel from 1995- 98.
Dorrell was named head coach of his alma mater UCLA in 2003, where he lasted five seasons and went to a bowl game every year finishing with a career 35 – 27 record before being fired after the 2007 season.
Dorrell had previously been receivers coach for the New York Jets 2015 – 18 under Todd Bowles (above) and two of his receivers had made the Pro Bowl during his time there.
Colorado picked Dorrell from an interview process that also included former Buffaloes player and Kansas City Super Bowl offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, who interviewed and was under strong consideration.