The NY Jets have been connected to each of the top quarterbacks expected to be on the market this offseason, but a new name has seemingly emerged: Tennessee Titans QB Ryan Tannehill.
SNY's Connor Hughes reported on Tuesday that the Jets are "much higher on [Tannehill] than some want to believe." He suggested that Tannehill makes sense as a fallback plan if the Jets miss out on Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr, and perhaps even Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Tannehill rumors have heated up over the last 24 hours following the Jets' decision to hire former Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing. Downing has worked together with Tannehill in each of the QB's four years in Tennessee.
The Jets also hired former Titans offensive line coach Keith Carter, so Tannehill would have plenty of familiarity with the Jets' coaching staff.
Does Ryan Tannehill make sense for the NY Jets?
Tannehill clearly isn't the Jets' preferred quarterback option this offseason, nor should he be. The 10-year NFL veteran will turn 35 years old before the start of the season and has been average, at absolute best, over the last two seasons.
In 12 starts, Tannehill threw for just 13 touchdowns and six interceptions while completing 65 percent of his passes this past season. He's in the same tier as Garoppolo — a clear step down from Rodgers and Carr, albeit still a considerable improvement over the current crop of quarterbacks the Jets have.
The other issue with Tannehill is that there's no guarantee he's even going to be available. The consensus is still that the Titans will bring Tannehill back next season.
They could move on and save nearly $18 million in cap space ($27 million if he's a post-Jun. 1 cut), but that only makes sense if they have a true upgrade or are willing to give Malik Willis a chance to be the guy (which they don't appear ready for just yet).
If the Titans are ready to move on, Tannehill makes some sense as a fallback for the Jets given his familiarity with the staff, but that's about all he should be: a last resort if the team misses out on their top options.
Tannehill is a borderline top 18-20 quarterback and a very definitive step below Rodgers and Carr. The Jets would be making a mistake if they saw him as anything other than a Plan C or Plan D.