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Ryan Tannehill contract negotiations could start at Scouting Combine

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Discussions between the Miami Dolphins and quarterback Ryan Tannehill on a new contract could be set to start at the NFL Scouting Combine.

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The Miami Dolphins are currently looking at their options when it comes to keeping quarterback Ryan Tannehill for the long term. The team could allow him to enter the final year of his rookie contract this year, potentially becoming a free agent after the 2015 season; or they could use their fifth-year option on him, locking him in for the 2016 season at around $15 million; or they could work out a new contract, keeping him with the team long-term. Yesterday, reports indicated that the team was beginning to build the frame work of a new deal, with numbers around seven-years, $105 million.

This morning, Pro Football Talk is reporting that no actual discussions with Tannehill have taken place. That does fit with the description of the situation from Dave Hyde's initial report, where the discussions on the new contract seemed to be internal building of a framework, and not actual negotiations between the team and Tannehill.

What also comes up in the PFT report is that once source expressed "optimism" that negotiations will begin at the NFL Scouting Combine. The Combine runs from February 17-27 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Coaches, general managers, agents, and players will all be there, giving the Dolphins a perfect opportunity to meet with Pat Dye and SportsTrust Advisors, Tannehill's agent, and start the process of locking up the team's 2012 first-round pick with a long-term deal. (The negotiations here could also have a lasting impact for the Dolphins, as SportsTrust Advisors also represent 2014 first-round pick Ja'Wuan James, who will be going though similar negotiations in a couple of years.)

If a contract can not be worked out, the team has until May 3 to exercise the fifth-year option on Tannehill.