Ryan Tannehill’s future will soon meet a a significant turning point.
Which direction he’ll proceed is unknown. He could return to Tennessee, where he came off the bench in the middle of the season to lead the Titans on a playoff run that saw them reach the AFC Championship Game. Or, he could go elsewhere.
"I like what we started there last year," Tannehill said during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "And the guys that were on the team and I’d like to be back. We’ll see what happens. Obviously, getting down to the last couple weeks here. CBA and a lot of conversations gotta go on back and forth to kinda figure out where we’re at. We’ll see, it’s gonna be an exciting couple of weeks no matter what happens."
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Tannehill came to Tennessee via a trade that landed the Titans a backup quarterback and a sixth-round pick. The trade completed a tumultuous, uncertain time for the quarterback, who’d been cast aside by Miami due to a lengthy injury history and some inconsistency on the field.
There was the key word in the trade mentioned above: backup. Tannehill came to Nashville for security in the event the Titans again had to deal with an injury to Marcus Mariota. But it didn’t last long, as Mariota struggled enough for Titans coach Mike Vrabel to make a change at the position. From there, the Titans took off.
Now, Tannehill is approaching another uncertain offseason in which he doesn’t know where he might be taking snaps in the upcoming season. At least this time, he has some experience in such a situation.
"I learned a lot last year. Being in the situation I was last year where I was still under contract; knew I wasn’t going back to Miami, but I was still under contract," Tannehill said. "Couldn’t really do anything. Free agency had opened. I wasn’t able to talk to any other teams or anything like that. They basically said, ‘Hey we’re gonna try to trade you.’ My hands were tied. Just kinda had to sit there and I learned a lot through that just to be able to be patient and wait for what’s gonna happen.
"Don’t try to anticipate or worry about something you can’t control. At this point it’s all just a matter of playing the waiting game."
Tennessee has a few key situations to resolve, including figuring out how to bring back its rushing champion, Derrick Henry. But the Titans also need to solidify their quarterback position, and though Tannehill didn’t exactly throw them to the AFC title game, he did do enough to get them in position to find other ways to get there.
He’s one of the higher valued free agents on the market in a class filled with options under center. We’ll learn in a couple weeks if that value will keep him in Tennessee or send him elsewhere.
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