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Ryan Tannehill to get paid as Dolphins' franchise QB?

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The Miami Dolphins plan to make a big financial investment in Ryan Tannehill, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract.

Vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum made it clear at the NFL Annual Meeting that the organization views Tannehill as a franchise quarterback.

Positional breakdowns

"If you have one in the building you can win with you want to pay him as reasonably as possible," Tannenbaum said Monday, via the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "The good thing is we have one."

If Tannehill and Tannenbaum don't find common ground on an extension in the next six weeks, per the Sun Sentinel, the Dolphins won't hesitate to exercise the quarterback's fifth-year option worth roughly $16 million for 2016.

That option could present problems with the salary cap. Ndamukong Suh's 2016 cap figure is a whopping $28.6 million. The Dolphins are also scheduled to shell out more than $7 million apiece for Branden Albert, Cameron Wake, Brent Grimes, Jordan Cameron and Reshad Jones.

The front office has reportedly had internal discussions on a six-year Tannehill contract worth more than $100 million. The question is whether that commitment would be heavy in guarantees or a team-friendly deal along the lines of those signed last year by Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton.

Tannehill solidified his standing within the organization by setting a franchise record with 392 completions last season, bouncing back from a shaky 2014 campaign.

He benefited from Bill Lazor's offense, which borrowed heavily from Chip Kelly's Eagles scheme as well as the pistol-heavy system run by Redskins in Robert Griffin III's rookie year.

"He checks a lot of boxes," Tannenbaum added. "He's young. We drafted him. He's an incredibly hard worker. Football is important to him. There are a lot of things, a lot of redeeming values."

When the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero said Monday that the team is prepared to make Tannehill a "very, very, very, very rich" man, Tannenbaum quipped, "I think you forgot one 'very.'"

As recently as late September, coach Joe Philbin seemed uncertain about Tannehill's prospects. Six months later, the Dolphins are convinced he's the long-term solution under center.

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