Dolphins top pick Tannehill absent from camp amid contract impasse wire reports

Tannehill did get some offseason work done during the Dolphins' minicamps in May and June. (US Presswire)  
Tannehill did get some offseason work done during the Dolphins' minicamps in May and June. (US Presswire)  

DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins' quarterback competition opened Friday without one of the main contenders, rookie Ryan Tannehill.

The eighth pick in the draft had yet to sign by the start of the Dolphins' first practice.

"It's disappointing when you don't have all your players in, regardless of who it is," general manager Jeff Ireland said. "You want to have all your players out there. Things are progressing and we're going to keep communicating until we get this thing done."

Tannehill's agent, Pat Dye Jr., did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Tannehill was the first quarterback selected in the first round by the Dolphins since they took Dan Marino in 1983.

Tannehill is expected to be part of a competition for the starting job along with returning starter Matt Moore and veteran offseason acquisition David Garrard.

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Tannehill, who started 19 games at Texas A&M after switching from wide receiver to quarterback, played in college under new Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.

"If he was any other rookie that didn't know the offense, it would be definitely tough on him," Garrard said. "But he knows most of the offense and I think just not being out here with the guys is probably the toughest thing for him."

Cornerback Sean Smith was ready to start testing Tannehill.

"He's the chosen one, the golden child," Smith said. "I call him 'The Franchise.' When he gets out here, I definitely can't wait to just play off and pick one of his little hitches or whatnot because you know he's going to be anxious to come and sling it. To get one of Tannehill's balls, I might make him sign it or whatnot."

Moore, who went 6-7 as the starter in 2011 after replacing the injured Chad Henne, took the first snaps with the first-team offense Friday.

New coach Joe Philbin said there was no significance to that, and Moore later indicated that Garrard is scheduled to get most of the work with the first-team offense Saturday.

"We're going to be fair, to a certain degree, early on and see how this thing unfolds," Philbin said. "We've got a plan in place and I think it's fair to assume we're going to give those guys equal opportunity to play with different players, different offensive linemen, and those type of things."

Tannehill was the only player missing from practice Friday morning. Veteran guard Eric Steinbach, signed Thursday, worked with his new teammates.

"You're looking at a guy who's started 124 games and he's been a productive player in the league," said Philbin, who was Steinbach's offensive line coach at Iowa from 1999-2002. "He's an athletic guy. We still feel like he has the ability to run. We think he's schematically a pretty good fit for what we're doing. And he's a good locker room guy, a high-character individual. I think he's hungry. We'll see. We didn't promise him anything, but we did guarantee him an opportunity to compete for a position on the football team."

Practice took place in front of NFL Films cameras on hand to accumulate footage for the HBO series Hard Knocks, which premieres next Tuesday.

Philbin was making his training camp debut as an NFL head coach.

"I told the players, 'I'm nervous before every single practice and when I'm not nervous, I think I'll know it's time for me to put my whistle away,'" he said. "Not nervous like, 'Oh my God, I'm going to make a mistake.' But nervous that you want this thing to go right. You want the practice to be perfect. You want the organization of it to be perfect. You want to see players making plays and doing things the right way."

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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