Last month, the big brains at Harvard predicted that this season's Superbowl would be a matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and the Miami Dolphins, so it's never too early to start the trash talking. Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett called Fins quarterback Ryan Tannehill "overrated" and said the Miami signal caller is overpaid.
The comments came via an interview on Seattle sports talk radio and ESPN affiliate 710 AM. The defensive end was talking football contracts and how quarterbacks have the apparent luxury of getting paid big bucks even if they stink, as opposed to all other positions. Bennett named Tannehill as one of those quarterbacks.
“Quarterback is the only position in the NFL where you could be mediocre and get paid. At every other position, you can’t be mediocre,” Bennett said. “If I was Ryan Tannehill and the most games I ever won was seven, how could you get a $100 million for that? I guess that’s the value of the position.”
Bennett went on to name a couple of other QBs by name, including Houston's Brian Hoyer and Philadelphia's Sam Bradford.
In May, Tannehill signed a contract extension with the Dolphins worth $96 million. Bennett's main beef seems to be coming from his own contract issues. In 2014, Bennett signed a contract extension worth $28.5 million and has since expressed how dissatisfied he's been with being paid under what he believes he's worth.
Bennett's shot at Tannehill refers to the Dolphins having gone 7-9, 8-8, and 8-8 in each of his first three seasons before the team decided to reward him with a lucrative contract.
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Of course, quarterback remains the most important position in football — vastly more important than even an elite defensive end. And getting a good one is rare. The Dolphins apparently have seen enough from Tannehill to justify the contract and believe he's the cornerstone to any future success the team might have.
There's also the fact that "winning" is an overrated stat line for a quarterback, seeing how Tannehill has had not only putrid offensive lines protecting him but subpar receivers catching passes from him. The Dolphins have been mediocre with him at the helm (and for more than a decade before Tannehill even arrived), but most of the blame should fall on the front office for failing to get better players around him.
It seems that this year, it finally did. And Tannehill's preseason play has so far been flawless.
Which means Tannehill will have real chance to prove that he's neither mediocre nor overpaid.