Miami Dolphins paying Ryan Tannehill to be the next Dan Marino

Ryan Tannehill signs contract extension with Miami Dolphins through 2020

Ryan Tannehill hasn't yet produced a winning season in Miami, but he has done enough to get the Dolphins to produce their wallet.

On Monday, Tannehill signed an extension with the Dolphins that will keep him under contract through 2020 at a cost of $96 million -- $45 million of which is reportedly guaranteed.

"Signing Ryan to this deal is important to our franchise," Dolphins General Manager Dennis Hickey said in a statement. "We are committed and believe in Ryan as our quarterback for the long term, and we are excited to be able to sign him to this extension."

That deal makes Tannehill the organization's first true franchise quarterback since Dan Marino. It also comes with expectations of the same level of greatness as the Hall of Famer, who led Miami from 1983 to 1999. 

The Dolphins reached the playoffs in 10 of Marino's 17 seasons. An MVP season his second year got Miami to Super Bowl XIX, but the Dolphins lost to the San Francisco 49ers.  

In the 15 years since Marino last played for the Dolphins, Miami has started nine different quarterbacks. Only Jay Fiedler (2000-2003), Chad Henne (2009-2010) and Tannehill (2012-present) have started a majority of the team's games for more than a year.

Coincidentally, the Dolphins haven't made the playoffs since 2008. 

Tannehill has shown improvement on the stat sheet each year since he was drafted. His completion percentage has risen from 58.3% in 2012 to 66.4% in 2014, as have his passing yards, 3,294 to 4,045, and touchdowns, 12 to 27.  

Just about the only place the Dolphins haven't benefited is in the win column. Tannehill is 23-25 as a starter. 

This season, perennial AFC East champion the New England Patriots will be without quarterback Tom Brady for four games because of his suspension for the Deflategate scandal. Brady has appealed his punishment, but if it's upheld, the Dolphins could be the favorite to win the division and make a run at the Super Bowl.

If that happens, the comparisons of Tannehill to Marino will be thick, just like his wallet.

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme

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