NFL math explains why Ryan Tannehill is a steal for Titans

Ryan Tannehill #17, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Ryan Tannehill #17, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

The structure

Looking at the structure of the deal is incredibly important because that reveals the true commitment that a team has to a player.

If a team has little or no guaranteed money committed to a player at the end of the deal, it is better to think about that deal as an extended franchise tag rather than anything that they are locked in to.

For the Titans, the Tannehill deal is extremely front loaded and the third year only has guaranteed money involved if there is an injury. So, think about this as a two year franchise tag.

So when you think about that, look at what the next two years will cost the Titans with Tannehill in guaranteed money:

So that is $42 million guaranteed over the next two years.

If the Titans would have franchise tagged Tannehill in both of those years, they would have paid him $60 million guaranteed. You know that number because the franchise tag for a QB this year is $26.8 million for 2020 and if they tagged Tannehill again they would have to pay him 120% of that ($32.2 million).

In the end the Titans actually got away cheaper than they could have expected to considering what another good year would have cost them in free agency in 2021.