Report: Dolphins already assured Ryan Tannehill he'll start even if they draft QB

If the Dolphins end up pulling off a somewhat surprising move by drafting a quarterback in the first round on Thursday night, starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill won't suddenly find himself in a Mike Glennon-like situation. Instead, it'll be more along the lines of an Alex Smith-esque situation. 

At least he knows ahead of time that it might actually happen. In other words, the Dolphins have already had "the talk" with Tannehill.

Before the 2018 NFL Draft on Thursday, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported that the Dolphins have already talked to Tannehill to assure him that he'll be their starter in 2018 even if they take a quarterback in the first round of the draft. According to Pelissero, the Dolphins haven't ruled out a trade up to snag a quarterback. 

"The Dolphins remain open to a lot of different possibilities at No. 11 because they just don't know how the top of this draft is going to unfold. The smart money says they stand pat at 11, take the best available defensive player. But I can tell you they have gotten calls about trading down in Round 1, and they have not ruled out the possibility of trading up for a quarterback if one begins to slide. Now that's a possibility they have discussed with their current quarterback Ryan Tannehill. ... What coach Adam Gase, GM Chris Grier and company have told Tannehill is even if we do take a quarterback, you are our starter for 2018."

You can watch his entire report below:

Just because the Dolphins are considering trading up for a quarterback doesn't mean they actually will, of course. At this point, none of the 32 NFL teams have ruled out any scenario -- other than the Browns trading the first-overall pick for the fourth-overall pick. Every option should be on the table for every team.

With that being said, the Dolphins might not be able to resist taking a quarterback if one of the big four (Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold) begins an unexpected fall on draft night. Rosen appears to be the most likely of the bunch to experience a tumble and, wouldn't you know it, Gase is reportedly "obsessed" with Rosen. 

Say the Dolphins do draft Rosen. If that were to happen, Tannehilll would know that even though he's guaranteed the starting job in 2018, his future in Miami will pretty much end there. He'd be in the same situation Smith found himself in last year when the Chiefs drafted Patrick Mahomes. 2018 would be Tannehill's season, but it'd be nothing more than an audition for the rest of the league.

But hey, at least Tannehill knows it could happen. That's better than what happened to Glennon last year when the Bears drafted Mitchell Trubisky without telling Glennon about it ahead of time. Glennon then got benched for Trubisky after only four starts

Here's where it's worth noting that a similar situation could play with Tannehill, even though he's a significantly better quarterback than Glennon. If the Dolphins draft a quarterback and get off to a horrible start, the calls for a new rookie quarterback would begin immediately. Remember: The Bears said that Glennon would be their starter even after they took Trubisky, and that promise lasted four weeks. In the NFL, promises don't mean much of anything.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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