Tennessee Titans QB Ryan Tannehill’s trade stock is rising before free agency

Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

A few years ago starting quarterbacks were untouchable on the trade market, but that has all changed and it could mean more attention for Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

The franchise tag deadline has passed and after the dust has settled it looks like Lamar Jackson is going to be available for a team if they are willing to move heaven and earth (2 first-round picks and a massive guaranteed contract) to get him.

However, there is no guarantee that there is a real market for him after the Atlanta Falcons said that they aren’t interested. If that is true, then Jackson’s most obvious fit is the Miami Dolphins who won’t be able to make a deal with him until after the 2023 NFL Draft.

Let’s say Jackson either lands with Miami or stays in Baltimore. That means that there are seven teams that are looking for a starting quarterback for 2023.

1. Houston Texans

2. Indianapolis Colts

3. Atlanta Falcons

4. Las Vegas Raiders

5. Carolina Panthers

6. New York Jets

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Let’s see how the musical chairs will likely play out.

Will the Tennessee Titans be trading with any of these teams?

Both Houston and Indianapolis seem to be on the path to drafting a quarterback in the first round, which is good because it is hard to imagine trading a starting quarterback like Ryan Tannehill to an AFC South opponent.

The New York Jets are chasing after Aaron Rodgers right now, so that should be penciled in for now. If that falls through then Tannehill could be the next target on their list.

Vegas and Carolina are in a position to land one of the top-four quarterbacks in this draft (unless the Seattle Seahawks decide to draft and develop a QB with the 5th pick), but both teams could reach out to the Tennessee Titans to acquire Ryan Tannehill to be the bridge quarterback.

That leaves the Falcons and the Bucs as teams that could be interested in Ryan Tannehill. Since the Bucs are going to struggle to be cap compliant anyway, that puts us right back where we started and that is with the Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons have always made the most sense for a Ryan Tannehill trade. Getting the obvious out of the way, Arthur Smith was the Tennessee Titans’ OC when Ryan Tannehill was named to the Pro Bowl. That was the same time period where the Titans averaged over 30 points per game.

Slotting him into an Atlanta roster that has Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and a solid offensive line would be music to Tannehill’s ears.

Atlanta is scheduled to be top-4 in cap space this year and next year, but if Arthur Smith doesn’t make the playoffs then he might not be the one who gets to reap the rewards of all the hard work he has done rebuilding that roster.

As it stands right now he has three options. He can either trade up in the draft for a quarterback/sign someone he doesn’t know in free agency, which isn’t how the Mike Vrabel coaching tree operates.

He can start Desmond Ridder who might develop in time, but who hasn’t shown anything so promising that you believe he can take this team to the playoffs this year?

Or he can make a move for someone he knows, like Ryan Tannehill.

Since the Falcons are armed with nine draft picks (including two in the 4th round), it is easy to see why Atlanta may prefer to send off a 2nd and a 4th round pick to fix their quarterback situation for the short-term and long-term if Desmond Ridder continues to develop.