It is likely no one with the Tennessee Titans will benefit more from Sunday’s trade for wide receiver Julio Jones than quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
It makes sense, therefore, that franchise officials turned to Tannehill to help fit Jones under the salary cap. When they agreed to terms with the Atlanta Falcons to acquire the seven-time Pro Bowler, they had just $2.36 million of salary cap space, which meant they had to create additional room before the deal actually could be executed.
According to an NFL.com report Tuesday morning, the Titans will restructure Tannehill’s contract to free up roughly $15.6 million in salary cap space. Jones has a guaranteed salary of $15.3 million this season.
Tannehill is in the second year of a four-year, $118 million contract he signed with Tennessee in March 2020. That deal runs through the 2023 NFL season.
The restructure reduces his base salary for this season to $1.075 million but also gives him a restructure bonus of $23.425 million. That bonus will be prorated over the remaining three years of the pact.
Tannehill’s salary cap number for the current season is now $13.883 million. Under the original terms of the deal, that number was set to be $29.5 million in 2021 and was to peak at $34 million in 2022. Now, his cap number will be $41.808 million in 2022 with a guaranteed base salary of $29 million.
Jones also is under contract through 2023, and his base salary drops to $11.513 million for the final two seasons.
That means Tannehill, who has experienced a career resurgence in nearly two full seasons as the Titans’ starting quarterback, will have time to get comfortable with Jones, who is the NFL’s all-time leader in average receiving yards per game at 95.5. Tannehill led the NFL in average yards per attempt in 2019 at 9.6 and was fifth last season at 7.9.