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| Columns |

After Miami's Solid 2015 Draft, Ryan Tannehill Has No More Excuses

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Draft weekend is done, the Miami Dolphins have reloaded and the consensus is clear: There are no excuses left for quarterback Ryan Tannehill in 2015. That's not a shot at Tannehill, who has steadily progressed in his first three years in Miami.

But after this year's draft — where the Fins grabbed an elite receiver, bolstered the offensive line and added to the running game — Tannehill finally has everything he could possibly need to move on from a good quarterback to a great quarterback. 

Up to this point the conversation surrounding Ryan Tannehill has always been why he isn't considered an elite quarterback in the NFL. This season, the conversation should switch to why he deserves to be in that discussion. 

Through three years, Ryan Tannehill has not been the mediocre Dolphins' problem. But he also hasn't been good enough to overcome all the other shortcomings that have plagued Miami. Tannehill has often been shackled by terrible draft choices, bad free agent signings and injuries.  

Whether it be historically terrible protection, sub-par weapons, bad coaching, or a mixture of all three all at once — Tannehill has been dealt some pretty bad cards throughout most of his career. For the most part his 23-25 career record pretty much sums up his dealings with all those obstacles — pretty average. What fans want to see now is Tannehill take the next step now that the teams front office has in surrounding him with better talent. They want to read about how he overcame some of the team's faults on Sunday afternoons, not why he couldn't — that's what the elite quarterback in the NFL do.

The Dolphins are done getting Ryan Tannehill cheap. They announced last week they have decided to pick-up Tannehill's fifth year option that guarantees him upwards of $15-16 million next season if the team and player can't come to terms on a long term deal. Make no mistake — any long term deal Ryan Tannehill signs will look like a Floyd Mayweather fight contract; in other words, it will be in the nine-figure range.

During last season NFL.com ranked Tannehill as their 19th best QB in the "Above (Andy) Dalton Scale", and he went on to prove with his performance on the field he's better than that. In 2015, fans hope to hear Ryan Tannehill compared to much better quarterbacks than Dalton. With a killer new wide receiver like Louisville's DeVante Parker and two later-round weapons in Boise State running back Jay Ajayi and Michigan State wideout Tony Lippett, Tannehill finally has the tools to go much higher. 

Next season is Ryan Tannehill's senior season in the NFL, no more excuses are left. 

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