NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Titans are keeping the quarterback who led them within a victory of the Super Bowl, agreeing to a four-year, $118 million extension with Ryan Tannehill.
The team announced the deal Sunday, hours after the NFL Players Association approved a new collective bargaining agreement.
"Tennessee let's run it back," Tannehill wrote on Twitter.
After being traded by the Miami Dolphins to Tennessee last March, Tannehill went 9-4 as a starter, including 7-3 over the final 10 games of the regular season after the Titans benched fifth-year starter Marcus Mariota in mid-October. Tannehill led the NFL with a career-best 117.5 passer rating, which is a franchise record and ranks fourth in NFL history.
Tannehill threw for 2,742 yards with 22 touchdowns and six interceptions during the regular season, and he ran for 185 yards on 43 carries, including four touchdowns. His average of 9.6 yards per pass led the league and was another team record, and he also set a team mark by completing 70.3% of his passes to rank third overall in the NFL last year.
He helped lead the Titans to their first AFC championship game appearance in 17 years, doing so as the No. 6 seed with road wins against the New England Patriots, who were the reigning Super Bowl champions at the time, and the Baltimore Ravens, whose 14 regular-season wins led the league in 2019. The Titans then lost 35-24 at Kansas City, and the Chiefs went on to beat the San Francisco 49ers at Super Bowl LIV.
Tannehill was also a Pro Bowl selection for the first time and was awarded as comeback player of the year by The Associated Press.
His extension allows the Titans to either franchise tag running back Derrick Henry or sign the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner at Alabama to an extension. Henry led the NFL in rushing last season with 1,540 yards on 303 carries and became the first player in league history to run for at least 180 yards in three straight games. Henry had seven 100-yard games over his final nine games, and he ranks third in NFL history with a career average of 126 rushing per game in the postseason.
The Titans cleared up more salary cap space by waiving running back Dion Lewis and linebacker Cameron Wake on Thursday before waiving kicker Ryan Succop and three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker on Friday. Spotrac.com projected the Titans with having more than $63 million in salary cap space after those moves.
Tennessee still has right tackle Jack Conklin and cornerback Logan Ryan among its handful of players who will become free agents when the NFL's new business year begins Wednesday.
Many had expected the Titans to be among the teams chasing six-time Super Bowl champ Tom Brady, the quarterback who has played for the Patriots since they selected him in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft but is set to enter free agency. Brady has a friendship with current Titans coach Mike Vrabel, with the former linebacker on three of Brady's Super Bowl-winning teams.
Brady's long list of honors includes three league MVP awards, but he turns 43 in August, while Tannehill turns 32 in late July.
Henry made clear which quarterback he wanted when asked about Brady and Tannehill on the "Bussin' With The Boys" podcast last month, saying of Tannehill: "Speaking for everyone on the offense, we fed off of him Ryan Tannehill is our quarterback and went to the AFC championship. Why would we not want Ryan back?"
Tannehill was the eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft, and the former Texas A&M Aggie who spent time as a receiver in college played his first seven NFL seasons in Miami before being traded away.
He is 51-50 overall as an NFL starting quarterback, including his three playoff starts, and has a career passer rating of 89.8, having thrown for 23,176 yards, 145 touchdowns and 81 interceptions. He has run 291 times for 1,396 yards and 10 touchdowns.
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