Ryan Tannehill brought his parents -- Tim and Cheryl Tannehill -- to his press conference to celebrate and talk about his new contract extension with the Dolphins. He also brought his agent Pat Dye.
And afterward, Dye shared his thoughts of how the deal between his client and the Dolphins got done. (Yeah, I'm sure the Dolphins will not be thrilled about this but they need to loosen up, frankly).
It all began when club owner Stephen Ross met Tannehill for dinner and announced, "You're our guy." The owner told Tannehill he wasn't going anywhere. The owner told Tannehill the Dolphins wanted him as the QB for a long time.
"We talked a little bit at the senior bowl, but had a lengthy meeting at the combine. They had recently, just before that, theyt told Ryan that they were committed to him, that he was the face of the franchise, the future of the franchise, and that they definitely wanted to have discussions about extending him. They wanted to manage expectations, with the timeline.
They said they might start talking after free agency and before the draft, which is kind of when it happened. They brought him in, had a face to face. They made an offer and initially we were not inclined to even respond.
"We had a conversation and they said you have to give us some idea of what you think is fair. We continued to make progress, but about three weeks ago, we hit a place where we just didn't think we were going to get there. Then Monday a week ago, they made a significant move, in terms of total dollars, yearly average, improving the guarantee some. That was the first time I or Ryan felt like there was hope that we might get something done.
"We went back to them, made some concessions on the dollars, guarantees. It was clear to them that we wanted to get something done. After that it was just moving some things around and some nuances. It's a contract that today looks great for him, but if he continues to ascend, I just told Dennis Hickey, we're going to be knocking on the door in three or four years and hopefully with a Lombardi Trophy to revisit it.
"Obviously, they are betting on the [improvement] with those kind of dollars. The yearly, new dollar average puts him in the top seven QBs in the league and the only one ahead of him that hasn't been to the Super Bowl is Matt Ryan, who was coming off the NFC championship game and had an enormous cap number. It's Flacco and Brees and Roethlisberger, they put him in pretty rarified air. I fully believe that we may end up regretting this deal one day. I think this guy has all the ingredients to be an elite player.
"He certaintly wouldn't want me to say this but there have been a lot of challenges since he's been here. You think back to his rookie year, he's third on the depth chart, David Garrard gets hurt, we're in a contract holdout, you have a rookie head coach, rookie offensive coordinator. So there's all that and then the second year he loses his left tackle, left guard and center. I'm not even going to comment on the rest of the offensive line.
"And then this past year some of the challenges from some of the perimeter people and you lose Branden Albert. We represent Ja'Wuan James and he filled in nicely. But it's not the same when you have Branden Albert on the left side and Ja'Wuan on the right side. So every year he's had challenges. And yet his arrow when you look at his QBR and completion percentage, he's made significant jumps each and every year and he's done it since college.
"The way we all measure these deals is like hitting fast forward. Let's pretend he's hitting free agency for 2017. How much money are they paying him over those next four years. So this deal adds 77 million new dollars for four new years. Some of that $77 million is actually going to be additional dollars over years One and Two. So he's actually going to make money in years One and Two than he otherwise would have made. But those $77 million over four new years, that yearly average is $19.25. Brees average $20. Flacco is $20-and-change. I think Aaron Rodgers is $22 million. And I'm comparing apples to apples. That's how teams and agents measure these deals. What's the new dollars over the new years?
"I think there definitely an element on betting on the come in this deal. You just made the guy the sixth highest paid quarterback on the new deal. And he's never been to the Pro Bowl. Hasn't had a winning season. Never been to the playoffs. But I think you see the ascension. You see the progress.
"This is his team and this deal validates that. I told Ryan as we were getting ready to do this, "You need to prepare yourself for waking up one day and reading Andrew Luck is getting $25 million. He's a talented guy who was the first pick of the draft for a reason and he's been to the AFC championship. But this team is willing to make you one of the highest paid quarterbacks now and I don't think you put that off."