On Sunday morning, ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that the Tennessee Titans weren’t interested in signing Tom Brady in free agency (despite reports saying otherwise in recent weeks), and instead were focused on keeping Ryan Tannehill.

Within a few hours, the Titans indeed signed Tannehill to a new contract, featuring *a lot* of money. It’s a four-year, $118 million deal, featuring $62 million fully guaranteed and $91 million in total guarantees.

That’s a $29.5 million deal on average, ranking sixth in the NFL right now.

Tannehill confirmed the news on Twitter.

This offseason figures to feature plenty of teams having new quarterbacks, but it made sense for the Titans to want to keep Tannehill.

The Titans went 7-3 with Tannehill at quarterback in 2019, and pulled off upsets on the road against the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs. In the regular season, Tannehill led the NFL in passer rating (117.5) and yards gained per pass attempt (9.6). Everything in the numbers and results say he was sensational.

But we were left wondering if he’s really anywhere near that good in reality. The Miami Dolphins gave up on Tannehill just a year ago, and traded him to Tennessee, where he signed for just $7 million guaranteed over one year. Over six seasons with Miami, Tannehill put together a decent, not great passer rating of 87.0 over 88 starts, and a 42-46 record. Did he really get this much better in one year, in his age-31 season?

We’ll need a lot more evidence to conclude Tannehill is closer to the quarterback he was with the Titans in 2019 than the guy he was with the Dolphins from 2012-18. That certainly makes this new contract a big gamble.

However, after it worked so well with Tannehill in 2019 at the most important position in sports, the Titans probably couldn’t afford to let him get away. Tannehill and his representation — Brian Ayrault and Todd France of CAA Football — likely made that quite clear in negotiations.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.