It comes as no surprise to me that just one day after the Cleveland Browns announced that Deshaun Watson will miss the remainder of the season there are suggestions that Ryan Tannehill could request to be released by the Tennessee Titans.
Since we are past the trade deadline the Browns are much more limited on options to address the quarterback issue, but if a team released a player, they would be fair game for the Browns to sign should they clear waivers. There are a few cap implications to such a move, but the Browns have plenty of money to sign a guy like Tannehill.
After beginning the season as the Titans starter, an injury has now pushed him to the third spot on the depth chart behind Will Levis and Malik Willis as the organization looks for their path forward. At 3-6 and Tannehill on an expiring contract, a breakup at the end of the season already appears inevitable.
Tannehill has 11 years of starting experience in the NFL and has a winning record for his career at 80-69. His two best years were in 2020 and 2021 where he led the Titans to 11-5 and 12-5 seasons and went to the playoffs in back-to-back years. Tannehill is not going to light you up through the air, in both of those elite seasons he threw for under 4,000 yards and the team’s success was heavily around Derrick Henry running the ball.
He still has a career completion percentage of over 64% and has proven that he can win in the NFL. I’m not going to say he has a ceiling of what Watson does, but I do think he is a significant upgrade to PJ Walker and Dorian Thompson-Robinson. In my head, this defense is far too good to take a risk on those two guys finishing a season that should lead to the playoffs. Tannehill isn’t an elite option, but he is by far the best that I’ve heard. He is a low-risk high-reward option that is short-term.
The worst thing that happens, is Tannehill comes here and struggles, and then you go right back to DTR or Walker and it only costs your owner a couple of million dollars. He isn’t the shiny toy everyone wanted, but could be exactly what this team needs. No all that needs to happen is for him to force his way out of Music City.