Earlier today, the Miami Dolphins extended quarterback Ryan Tannehill's contract through the 2020 season, making him the first of the quarterbacks from the 2012 draft class to receive a long-term deal. The deal for Tannehill is reportedly a six-year, $96 million deal with $45 million guaranteed, averaging out to $16 million per year.
Tannehill is a good young quarterback and $16 million per year seems just right for him, so it was a good move by Miami getting him locked up. But he's still the third-best quarterback from the 2012 draft class, and the two best - the Colts' Andrew Luck and the Seahawks' Russell Wilson - have yet to be given long-term contracts. Specifically talking about Luck, what does Tannehill's extension mean for the Colts' quarterback?
Not much. Not much at all.
Ryan Tannehill's contact was never going to determine Andrew Luck's contract. It's fully expected that Luck will become the league's highest-paid player, likely taking in somewhere around $25 million per season when he's finally locked up long-term by the Colts. Heck, Luck's fifth-year option in 2016 will pay him $16.155 million, slightly more than Tannehill's average per year will be in his new deal.
Team owner and CEO Jim Irsay said earlier this offseason that a new contract for Luck likely wouldn't be coming until next offseason, and the Colts picked up Luck's fifth-year option for 2016 just in case he'll end up playing under it. Luck's mega-deal is coming, the only question is whether it will be after his fourth year or his fifth year. And while we don't know just how much Luck will end up getting, the expectations are, again, in the $25 million per year range, making him the highest-paid player in the league.
Ultimately, as mentioned before, Ryan Tannehill's extension was never going to impact Andrew Luck's extension - but, with that said, Andrew Luck's extension very well could have impacted Ryan Tannehill's extension. If the Dolphins had waited to extend Tannehill until after the Colts extended Luck, then the market value for quarterbacks would be pushed higher and, though Tannehill still wouldn't approach the numbers of Luck's deal, he likely would have commanded more than the Dolphins extended him for today. So while this doesn't really have much bearing on Luck's coming deal, it was a very smart move by the Dolphins to extend a player they think can be their franchise quarterback for a fair price and before Luck's mega-deal drives the market value up.