When the Seahawks signed Matt Flynn I assumed that I’d have to end my offseason-long mancrush on Ryan Tannehill. Not so fast. Tannehill held a workout at the Texas A&M campus today, and while 22 teams were in attendance, three teams showed particular interest: Miami, Cleveland, and your hometown Seattle Seahawks.
Before a bunch of controversy is started, it’s entirely possible that this is simply due diligence. The team may have already had plane tickets booked for Tannehill’s workout. But that they’d show up at all probably means that they have some level of interest. The chances that he’ll get through both Miami and Cleveland at least twice are pretty slim, so the Seahawks drafting Tannehill in the second round is pretty unlikely also.
They sent Pete Carroll, John Schneider, and Darrell Bevell though. Those are about the three biggest hitters they could sent to scout a quarterback, and they sent them. All three of them.
But is there any precedent for a team to sign a quarterback to a large deal and draft another in the first round in the same offseason? Well, not really. There is some precedent that suggests that two quarterbacks of such profile could coexist on the same roster. Joe Montana did it with Steve Young. Brett Favre did it with Aaron Rodgers. Drew Brees (a better comparison) did it with Philip Rivers. The main difference is that each of the veterans in the aforementioned situations were unlikely to remain with their team in next couple years.
The quarterback position is much less expensive to draft now in the new CBA. Josh Freeman was taken 17th in the 2009 draft and signed for almost two-and-a-half times what Christian Ponder signed for after being drafted 12th overall in last year’s draft. The Seahawks hold the 12th pick, and will pay Tarvaris Jackson $4 million next year. Ponder is due an average of $2.75 million annually over the course of his contract.
And Tannehill performed well today, running a 4.62 second 40 yard dash, dismissing any fear of any lingering issues resulting from broken foot that kept him out of the Combine and Texas A&M’s Pro Day. He also completed 65 of 68 passes, and two of his incompletions were drops. All of his snaps were taken from under center and included a variety of pro-style footwork.
It’s also entirely possible that they are posturing. Let’s say Tannehill slips past Cleveland and Miami’s first picks and Seattle has the chance to draft him. If they appear to have legitimate interest in Tannehill then they’d have more leverage in a potential trade. Could they trade down to Cleveland’s 22nd overall pick and pick up another first rounder in 2013? We’ll see.
Either way, even if you hate Ryan Tannehill you have to feel good about the guys making the decisions at the quarterback position.