The Miami Dolphins report to camp in just 3 days and the Dolphins first team practice is on Friday. However, as of today, the Dolphins could be missing 3 of their top 4 draft picks, including Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins are said to be talking to all 3 unsigned rookies, Tannehill, Michael Egnew, and Olivier Vernon. Tannehill is the most interesting negotiation because it appears the Dolphins are ‘digging in’ on the inclusion of offset language, per ProFootballTalk.com.
Offset language is the part of a players contract that protects the team in the event that the player is cut. Tannehill’s camp contends that the offset language is not needed, as none of the other top 10 draft picks that have signed, had offset language in their contracts. According to the report, the Dolphins Vice President of Administration, Dawn Aponte, is insisting that the language is included. Because of the new rookie pay scale, the financial terms of Tannehill’s contract are pretty much set. He will receive a 4 year deal worth approximately 13.5 million. Tannehill was drafted #8 overall and both the #7 and #9 picks have signed. The amount that is guaranteed on Tannehill’s deal is the only thing standing in the way of the Dolphins signing their quarterback of the future.
Honestly, I’m not all that worried about this getting resolved. The Dolphins know that they need to sign Tannehill before training camp. They need him to get as much practice time as possible. The clock is ticking, however, but it will ultimately come down to which side blinks first. I understand the Dolphins wanting to protect themselves, but if they have as much faith in Tannehill as they’ve repeatedly said, why not bend on this one? I mean, if this is the guy that Jeff Ireland and Joe Philbin believe in strongly, wouldn’t you think he’d be on the team for the next 4 years??
In the end, I think Tannehill will get signed within the next 3 days and will make it to camp on time. I also expect Vernon and Egnew to get signed, however there has been very little said about their contract negotiations. Tannehill is likely to start the year on the bench, but Vernon and Egnew could be contributors week 1 at Houston. It is vital for these rookies to get to camp on time, to help speed up their transition to the NFL. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted on these negotiations (and hopefully, signings) as they happen.