As it turns out, it’s the Brock Osweiler Trade Light.
The curious ability of the Dolphins to unload quarterback Ryan Tannehill and a 2019 sixth-round pick onto the Titans for a 2020 fourth-round pick and a 2019 seventh-round pick was fueled by Miami’s decision to give Tannehill a $5 million parting gift.
The Dolphins will pay that much of Tannehill’s guaranteed $7 million salary for 2019, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
So, basically, the Dolphins have purchased for $5 million and a sixth-round pick this year a fourth-round pick next year and a seventh-round pick this year. That’s the only reason to trade Tannehill instead of cutting him, given that Tannehill’s contract had no guaranteed money due in 2019.
Indeed, the Dolphins simply could have cut Tannehill, owing him nothing and accepting nothing in exchange for him. Instead, they get value in the form of net draft-pick gain — but they’re paying $5 million for it.
From Tannehill’s perspective, there was no reason to accept the trade, given that the Dolphins eventually would have released him. With no trigger in his contract forcing Miami to either make a lump-sum payment or guarantee…