Top Free Agent Landing Spots For QB Ryan Tannehill

After the relationship ran its course with the Titans and Tennessee moved on to QB Will Levis, veteran QB Ryan Tannehill has been available as a free agent since March. Other quarterbacks have come and gone to different teams, but things around Tannehill have been mostly quiet. 

Ryan Tannehill

That says, to me, that the veteran Tannehill is either ready to retire after 11 years in the league, or the soon-to-be-36-year-old is holding out for a starting position. With no team willing to commit to him in March, the best way for him to land a starting gig at this point is to wait for an injury.

But not just any injury. There’s a specific set of circumstances that has to occur to land Tannehill a starting job at this point in the NFL calendar:

  • A team has to lose a quarterback to a major injury, one that will sideline them for three-quarters of the season or more. 
  • That team needs to have not already invested significant resources into a backup quarterback. 
  • There also needs to be some level of scheme familiarity or projectability for Tannehill to offset not having an entire offseason working with his potential new teammates and coaches. 

There’s also a cost factor here. The less Tannehill is willing to take, the more likely it is he’ll sign with a team, regardless of circumstances. Tannehill has earned nearly $200 million over the course of his career (before taxes), so he isn’t hard up for money in all likelihood. At the same time, at this stage in his life, there might need to be an incentive to put himself through the rigors of an NFL season beyond just the love of the game. 

My guess is that there is a greater than 50 percent chance we have seen the last of Tannehill in the NFL. But if not, here are some teams I think could make sense as a landing spot if things fall a certain way. 

Tannehill, 35, is a former first-round pick of the Dolphins back in 2012. After six seasons, Miami traded Tannehill to the Titans in 2019 for draft compensation. 

As a part of the trade, Tannehill reworked his contract to a one-year, $1.875 million deal with the potential for more incentives. He then signed a four-year, $118 million deal in 2020. 

Tannehill was set to make a base salary of $24.5 million in 2021 when he restructured his deal. He made $27 million in the final year of his deal in 2023 and became an unrestricted free agent in 2024.

In 2023, Tannehill appeared in 10 games for the Titans and completed 64.8 percent of his passes for 1,616 yards, four touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also added 74 rushing yards on 14 carries and an additional touchdown.

We have him included in our Top 100 Available Free Agents list. 


The Ravens have elected to go cheap at backup quarterback for a few years now. Former UDFA QB Tyler Huntley was the top option behind starting QB Lamar Jackson until this year when his contract was not renewed. He signed with the division-rival Browns and will compete for a spot on the roster this summer. The Ravens replaced him by re-signing Immaculate Grid All-Star Josh Johnson and drafting former Kentucky QB Devin Leary in the sixth round. 

Jackson made it through the 2023 season healthy but that was a problem point for him and the Ravens the two seasons prior. If Jackson were to miss time again in 2024, there would not be a lot of confidence in either Johnson or Leary to hold down the fort until he could return. Johnson has a career 1-8 record as the starter. Leary might not even make the roster as a rookie. 

Tannehill would be an enormous upgrade in terms of experience and resume. While he doesn’t have direct experience in Ravens OC Todd Monken‘s offense, it’s easy to see how Tannehill would translate into an offense that likes to rely on the run game and create opportunities in the passing game via play action. And of course, he’d have plenty of practice handing the ball off to RB Derrick Henry

The Ravens have maintained they’re bullish on Johnson and Leary to round out their quarterback room, but Baltimore is one of a small handful of teams that could justify signing Tannehill as a backup right now if he was willing. 


The Packers check two important boxes when it comes to finding a potential landing spot for Tannehill. The depth chart behind starting QB Jordan Love is not formidable. Green Bay has 2023 fifth-rounder Sean Clifford and seventh-round rookie Michael Pratt backing up Love and neither has thrown a pass in an NFL game yet. 

The other factor that makes the Packers a notable landing spot for Tannehill is scheme familiarity. While Packers HC Matt LaFleur didn’t overlap with Tannehill in Tennessee, there are a lot of parallels to the system he runs and the system Tannehill revived his career in. There would be a learning curve but perhaps not as steep as there would be elsewhere. 

The advantage Clifford and Pratt have is that they’re cheap. Last year while the Packers were resetting the roster in the first year without Aaron Rodgers, that was important. But as Green Bay transitions back into contention, having a viable option if Love misses time becomes more important for GM Brian Gutekunst to consider. 

If Love were to be injured for an extended period of time, Tannehill would be one of the best options available to try and save the season for the Packers. 


Los Angeles’ backup quarterback right now is Easton Stick, a former late-round pick who didn’t see any game action until the end of last season. His raw stats on paper don’t look too bad and Stick has some mobility which is a nice wrinkle to lean on. However, the Chargers were 0-4 with Stick under center and he took 14 sacks in five games. Those numbers are better indicators of what he brings to the table. 

Tannehill would not only be an obvious upgrade as a backup from an experience and talent perspective but there are some existing connections to lean on. Chargers QB coach Shane Day was the TE coach in Miami for a portion of Tannehill’s tenure with the Dolphins. And while Tannehill has never played for OC Greg Roman, it’s another system that’s a great fit for Tannehill’s strengths as a quarterback with its reliance on the run game and play-action. 

Like the Ravens, the Chargers are a team that could justify signing Tannehill as an upgrade at backup quarterback now. Unlike the Ravens, they’re not in as urgent of a win-now window with a new regime taking over and hitting the reset button to a degree on the roster. Still, new HC Jim Harbaugh isn’t trying to tank, so Tannehill would be a potential option for the team if they lost QB Justin Herbert for a significant portion of the year. 


The Steelers have a crowded quarterback room already between Russell Wilson and Justin Fields. But Pittsburgh is the only team so far to be connected to Tannehill this year because of his relationship with new OC Arthur Smith, who was the play-caller when Tannehill was at his peak with the Titans. That relationship alone means the Steelers have to be mentioned, even if it’s not clear at the moment how Tannehill would fit in. Crazy things can happen during an NFL season between injuries and underperformance. Tannehill’s familiarity with Smith would allow him to hit the field with only a short ramp-up period. 

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