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The Miami Dolphins have had a very busy offseason.  They added perhaps the most sought after defensive free agent in over twenty years in Ndamukong Suh.

They completely revamped the wide receiver position, getting rid of Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson and replacing them with Kenny Stills, Greg Jennings and DeVante Parker, a group that should mesh much better with quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

And speaking of Tannehill, he’s the focal point of the Dolphins most recent offseason move.  Miami extended their quarterback’s contract earlier this week, locking him up through the 2020 season with a $96 million deal that includes $45 million in guaranteed money.

It’s a great move for both the Dolphins and Tannehill as the future in Miami looks brighter than it has in years.  Here are the top reasons why Tannehill’s new contract is such a good thing.

IMPROVED EVERY YEAR

Since his rookie season in 2012 Tannehill has gradually improved every aspect of his game. He’s thrown for more yards and touchdowns, thrown less interceptions, gotten better at reading defenses and figuring out when to take off running.  Clearly, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and his brain trust feel that Tannehill will continue trending upwards.

OFFENSE BUILT FOR HIM

As mentioned earlier, Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey has been working hard to surround Tannehill with players that best compliment his skillset.  After three years of running Miami’s offense, the team knows what Tannehill’s strengths and weaknesses are and have brought in players that should make the offense the best it’s been in a very long time.

VERY DURABLE

Tannehill has yet to miss a start during his three years in the league.  His 48 starts rank him fourth all-time for Dolphins quarterbacks, and he’ll pass Jay Fiedler for third if he makes it thorough at least twelve games this season. After that, he’ll have to play a few more years to catch the top two. Dan Marino is first with 240 starts and Bob Griese is second with 151.

GREAT CHARACTER GUY

One thing that you have to love about Tannehill is that he’s got a great head on his shoulders.  He doesn’t make any waves or throw teammates or coaches under the bus, even when it would be completely appropriate.  He doesn’t put any blame on Mike Wallace for the problems during his time in Miami and he didn’t criticize head coach Joe Philbin after he refused to publicly endorse Tannehill as his starting quarterback last season.  He also works extremely hard year-round and is quickly becoming a leader on this team.

GOOD DEAL FOR BOTH SIDES

On the surface Tannehill’s extension looks like a huge financial commitment by Miami, but that isn’t necessarily the case.  He’ll make $35 million during the next three years when his old deal would’ve paid him $18.5 over the next two, a small price to pay in order to lock him up long-term.  The rest of the deal could end up being very lucrative for Tannehill but it’s essentially a pay-as-you-go contract, which is perfectly fine for the 26-year-old.  He received $25 million right away so he’s plenty secure financially, and he’s said many times that he has no problem earing his keep on the field.  If he performs over the length of his new deal, he’ll get paid fully. If he falters, the Dolphins are protected from having the contract work against them.

Follow David on Twitter (@DavidDwork)

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