NFL

Dolphins' Jennings: Ryan Tannehill is 'far' from being an elite QB

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARy 03: Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins prepares to take the field before the game against the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARy 03: Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins prepares to take the field before the game against the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Miami Dolphins signed quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a lucrative four-year, $77 million extension last year, essentially making him their franchise quarterback. His first year under that contract didn't go as planned, though.

He suffered a drop-off in touchdowns and completion percentage after improving in nearly every area of his game for the first three years. And now with a complete overhaul to the coaching staff led by new head coach Adam Gase, questions have emerged surrounding Tannehill's status as a top-flight quarterback in the NFL.

His teammate, Greg Jennings, is among those who wonder if Tannehill is an elite quarterback.

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Via the Sun-Sentinel:

"Don't know," Jennings said on ESPN's First Take. "With saying, I don't know, I guess what I'm saying is he's far. I'm being honest. None of us know. I've made the statements about them babying him thus far through his career."

Part of the reason why Jennings won't call Tannehill "elite" is because of the fact that he's been in restraints with the Dolphins. The coaching staff reportedly hadn't given him complete control of the offense and the ability to audible at the line of scrimmage, which likely hurt his development.

"It's like he 's been handcuffed," Jennings continued. "I've played with Brett [Favre], I've played with Aaron [Rodgers]. I've played with great quarterbacks. So you can assess, and you can quickly tell, if he has it or not.

"Its been difficult if he has it or not, because he hasn't been given the liberty. Simple checks at the line of scrimmage, are not in his control. Until the end of the season when there was a coordinator change, he was not allowed to check out of a play."

His lack of control should change this season under Gase, who's a quarterback-friendly coach. The first year for Tannehill and Gase should be a telling one in whether or not he's truly the franchise's quarterback they've been looking for.