Had Tannehill been a Blaine Gabbert-level misfire, it's likely Ireland would have used the last of his nine lives as the Dolphins' general manager.
Instead, Tannehill won the starting job out of training camp and showed enough progress during the season to give the Dolphins confidence that he's their longtime solution at quarterback.
With $46 million in cap space and nine draft picks, Ireland's next task becomes building an offense around Tannehill.
"It is important that we add playmakers," Ireland said Tuesday, via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "Ryan is one-eleventh of the offense. We've got to get some other players that can help him.
"We've got to get him help," he went on. "Maybe it's (O-line) help. We've got to score TDs. That's what we didn't do enough of."
Tannehill threw just 12 touchdown passes while averaging less than seven yards per completion. He was sacked 35 times. The Dolphins didn't draft Tannehill to be a game manager, but it's hard for him to be much more than that until there's more talent around him.
Ireland has the means to change that in a hurry over the next four months.