What's up with Ryan Tannehill's mega contract?

A few weeks before the NFL Scouting Combine, the Dolphins committed themselves in word to Ryan Tannehill. You’re our future, they assured him. Four months later, they did the same in deed — with a contract extension that locks Tannehill up through 2020, with $77 million in new money.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, flanked by GM Dennis Hickey, left, and coach Joe Philbin, talks about his new $96 million contract Tuesday, May 19, 2015.

But the six-year, $96 million deal, announced Monday, was never a sure thing. Far from it. Only three weeks ago, the two sides hit an impasse so significant that Tannehill’s agent, Pat Dye, believed the deal might be dead. Then came a fateful call May 11.

The Dolphins, led by Mike Tannebaum and Dennis Hickey, made a counteroffer that changed the game. “That was the first time I or Ryan felt like there was hope that we might get something done,” Dye said.

Seven days later, it was done — with the Dolphins putting into writing their belief that he is their quarterback of the present and future. “I didn’t know if it was going to happen or not,” an ecstatic Tannehill said Tuesday, flanked by Hickey and coach Joe Philbin as he met with reporters. “I still had two years [on my contract], so it wasn’t something I was expecting. “Fortunately enough, we made it happen.”