The Facts: As he heads to unrestricted free agency in March, Tannehill is now likely just weeks away from a larger payday. When and where that comes remains to be determined. "You know, I'll take a step back and look at things here in the offseason," Tannehill said after the loss. "Obviously, I love this team and I love what this team is able to accomplish. Lot of love for the guys on this team and love playing with them. I will take a step back and look at that, but right now just really can't think about anything but how close we were in this loss."
Tennessee has $60.1 million in projected cap space in 2020, per Over The Cap, but has a number of key players on the brink of free agency. Along with Tannehill, the Titans will also have to make decisions on Ryan, Mariota, right tackle Jack Conklin, linebacker Wesley Woodyard and swing tackle Dennis Kelly. There's also the impending free agency of NFL rushing king Derrick Henry. That said, Tannehill compiled a career year in less than a full season, leading the NFL in passer rating and posting a career-high in yards per completion en route to earning Comeback and Most Improved Player honors from the Pro Football Writers of America. His play solidified a position that was largely uncertain with Mariota at the controls, and the Titans followed suit, rattling off seven wins in their final 10 games to reach the playoffs. Tannehill cashed in on multiple incentives along the way, earning nearly $3.5 million in additional money as a result of his play. It's more difficult to repeat success in the NFL than any other league, an intended product of the league's salary cap. We'll know by mid-March how different these Titans might look in 2020, starting with their situation under center.