Amid the wreckage in Miami, do questions linger about the future of quarterback Ryan Tannehill?
Multiple club sources told Breer that the incident unfolded while the Dolphins were engaged in drills that asked defensive players to shadow the offense, but avoid making plays on the ball.
When he was intercepted by rookie defensive back Tony Lippett, Tannehill “got after Lippett,” Breer wrote, adding that “some defensive guys took exception with that.”
On the subsequent snap, linebacker Chris McCain ran through a “mock” cut block and broke up Tannehill’s pass. From there, “Tannehill’s temper flared,” per Breer. “McCain responded by saying that someone compensated at Tannehill’s level should just get the ball there. And from there, defensive players were going after the ball.”
Flare-ups in practice aren’t unusual in the NFL, but Breer noted that the incident is “enough to make you at least wonder” about Tannehill’s future in Miami. Why? Because, the contract he signed in the offseason has “escape hatches that the club can wiggle through starting after the 2016 season,” per Breer, echoing a report from Pro Football Talk.
With former general manager Jeff Ireland, ex-Dolphins play-caller Mike Sherman and the fired Joe Philbin no longer in Miami, “the franchise is naturally less invested” in Tannehill than it was a couple years ago, per Breer.
From another angle, Tannehill’s play on the field over the rest of the season can help him gain organizational support. Teams aren’t in the business of dumping quarterbacks with potential, but the Dolphins are a club in flux.
All eyes will be on Tannehill and how he handles a rough start to the campaign.