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The Miami Dolphins opened training camp for the 2012 season without first round pick Ryan Tannehill. The Texas A&M draftee has yet to agree to a contract with the Dolphins, one of just X first-rounders who remain unsigned.
Tannehill is not expected to win the starting job out of training camp, and will likely back up one of two veterans, Matt Moore or David Garrard. It is not terribly uncommon for a rookie selected in the first round to hold out of camp until a contract is signed, but if Tannehill's absence lasts more than a few days, it could be a sign that the Dolphins and Tannehill are miles apart in negotiations.
Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said "We will not discuss the details of the negotiations in public" on Friday. "He's obviously not here, so we're obviously not done yet," he told ESPN.com. "I think progress is being made."
The Miami Herald reported Wednesday that the impasse in contract negotiations stems from the Dolphins' desire to include language that would allow the team to receive back some of the guaranteed money due to Tannehill if he is released in the final two years of his contract. Either the Dolphins are being very prudent with their money, or they are already feeling a little buyers' remorse for using the eighth pick in the draft on Tannehill.
Tannehill is the first quarterback drafted in the first round by the Dolphins since 1983, when the team selected Dan Marino out of Pitt. Tannehill is considered to be a developmental project, as he only started 19 games at quarterback in college after switching positions from wide receiver.
The rest of Miami's 2012 draft class was in attendance this morning in Davie, with Tannehill the only rookie still unsigned. Though quarterback is one of the starting spots up for grabs in camp, the team seems set on giving Tannehill a chance to learn the intricacies of new coach Joe Philbin's west coast offense from the bench as he gets up to speed in the NFL.
The Dolphins will be practicing every day until their first day off on August 5. The team's first preseason game is on August 10 at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team also has preseason games at Carolina on August 17, at home against Atlanta on August 24, and at Dallas on August 29.
The 2012 season opens with the Dolphins visiting the Houston Texans on September 9.