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ESPN Analyst Gives Harsh Grade To Titans' Ryan Tannehill Decision

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill throws a pass in the NFL Playoffs win over the Ravens.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 11: Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Tennessee Titans passes during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

On Sunday, the Tennessee Titans showed their commitment to Ryan Tannehill as their starting QB, giving him a four-year deal worth up to $118 million. Afterwards, one ESPN analyst had a pretty harsh assessment of the move.

On Sunday, ESPN analyst Bill Barnwell released his grade on the big contract. Barnwell graded the move as a "C-" over concern that Tannehill is more likely to regress than live up to the contract. He pointed to how the Titans' offensive philosophy revolves heavily around All-Pro RB Derrick Henry.


"The most likely outcome of this deal is that the Titans get something closer to the guy who didn't move the needle in Miami, rather than the quarterback who blazed through the league for most of 2020, and that isn't good value. This is especially true when you consider Tennessee's espoused offensive philosophy in the context of Henry... I'm not sure the Titans had a better option, but it's easier to imagine this deal turning into a painful one for Tennessee than it is to imagine Tannehill keeping up his magical 2019 for three more seasons."

Tannehill was traded to the Titans during the 2019 offseason. Originally, he was expected to simply be the backup behind former No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota. But after a 2-4 start to the season, head coach Mike Vrabel pulled the plug on Mariota and put in Tannehill.

The former Dolphins QB responded with some of the best performances of his career. He went 7-3 as a starter while completing 70.3-percent of his passes for 2,742 yards and 22 touchdowns with a career-low six interceptions.

In the playoffs, with Henry leading the rushing attack, Tannehill didn't have to do much. But he did enough on only a couple dozen passes to lift Tennessee to the AFC Championship Game.

Despite how well he performed in the 2019 season and in the playoffs, Tannehill still has a lot of questions to answer.

We'll see if Tannehill can answer those questions in the months (or years) to come.