His contract was to balloon to $18.7 million in base salary this year, and he would have counted $26.6 million against the salary cap.
The Titans will send a fourth-round pick in 2020 and a 2019 seventh-round selection to the Dolphins, who will also ship a 2019 sixth-round pick to Tennessee. Tannehill was never able to take the next step in his development.
Tannehill's sports agency tweeted that as part of the trade, he signed a one-year deal with the Titans. And whether the Dolphins chose to cut him after June 1st to diminish his dead cap salary to $13.423M or traded him and paid the extra $5M dollars, getting something in return is always better than getting nothing.
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He departs Miami with a career 62.8 completion percentage and an 87 passer rating, and left money on the table.
And, spoiler alert, the Dolphins do not care one iota about the $5M they're sending to Tennessee.
The number could go up to $12 million if certain incentives are met, which seems highly unlikely as long as Marcus Mariota is healthy. General manager Jon Robinson said Friday that Gabbert will be released. He hasn't played a full season in two years. You could argue that he and Tannehill are incredibly similar - both are athletic, accurate quarterbacks and their playing style feels similar.
Now the Miami Dolphins need a new quarterback.