The other half of the equation is, how much can you get away with paying the QB?
QB is king and if you don’t have one you will spend your coaching/GM career looking for one. The same can’t be said for any other position on the field and as such, QB’s have a ton of leverage in contract negotiations.
Are there some points a GM can argue to convince a QB that he isn’t worth half the value of the cap? Obviously. But honestly, how many teams in the NFL could win more than half as many games as they are projected if their starting QB was out for the season?
It is a very difficult thing to do and it underlines how important QB is to a team, so when I say every QB is underpaid, I don’t think that is an overstatement.
But, luckily reason prevails and QBs don’t eat up that much space.
So, just looking at the actual cap hit Tannehill is going to have for the Titans, where did he rank among QBs? Well, Warren Sharp nailed that in a tweet from an hour ago:
So basically, you get a QB who turned the Titans offense from bottom-10 to one of the best in the NFL as a starter, and you get him on a contract that will likely put him in the middle of the pack half way through.
Objectively that is a great deal and even if he doesn’t look as amazing as last year, you still have outs as soon as 2022 and the contract is absolutely worth the gamble.
At any other position if there was a player who made a Pro Bowl last year and who played like one of the best players at his position for 13 weeks and you could sign him back for average starter salary then you would absolutely do it right?
Well the same thing is happening here, except the numbers are bigger because the position is more important. Ignore the big numbers and worry more about the cap hit relative to other QBs, the fit and the money the Titans have left to spend on the cast surrounding Ryan Tannehill.