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Ryan Tannehill: Miami Dolphins Cornerstone

The definition of the word “cornerstone” is as follows:

1. a stone that forms the base of a corner of a building, joining two walls.

2. an important quality or feature on which a particular thing depends or is based.

Common synonyms are: foundation, basis, keystone, mainstay, bedrock, backbone, key centerpiece, core, heart, center, crux.

With that definition, it’s easy to see why Ryan Tannehill can be called the cornerstone of the Miami Dolphins franchise.

Tannehill was selected as the eighth overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft after concluding his career at Texas A&M with 5,450 passing yards and 42 touchdowns. He had an up and down career with the Aggies, splitting time at wide receiver and quarterback before landing the QB job full-time as a senior and leading the team to a bowl game.

Despite his inability to hold on to the job in college, just three years into his NFL career, he is being hand-picked as the quarterback of the future in Miami and has complete job security.

The proof is in the pudding, as they say – in the 2015 offseason, Tannehill agreed to a contract extension through 2020, a deal that is reportedly worth $96 million, including $45 in guaranteed money. In addition to showing him their faith with job security, the Dolphins’ front office also changed the look of the team once again to better fit Tannehill.

For example, Mike Wallace, a receiver the Fins signed for five years and $60 million back in 2013, is no longer on the team after he and Tannehill failed to get on the same page the last two seasons. And with their first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Fins drafted a wide receiver, DeVante Parker, a guy who the front office thinks is a better fit for Tannehill and their offense.

Tannehill’s stats in his three years at the helm of the Fins have steadily improved, but Miami thinks the ceiling is unlimited for the fourth-year QB. Tannehill has started all 48 games in Miami thus far and has completed 1,029-of-1,662 passes for 11,252 yards and 63 touchdowns and rushed for another four. In 2014, he reached career highs in completions, attempts, completion percentage, passing yards, passing touchdowns, passer rating and rushing yards.

Now, entering the 2015 NFL season, the Fins are looking to their field general as their cornerstone – as their base that will connect the walls so to speak, as their foundation, bedrock, core, heart, crux. Simply stated, the Miami Dolphins moving forward are only expected to be as good as their cornerstone can take them. And as the 32nd starting QB in a franchise littered with decorated quarterbacks, the Miami Dolphins are hoping to add Tannehill’s name to that list, and in the process, return to the elite level of teams in the NFL.