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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins best bet may be to wait and franchise Landry

Roy Cummings

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Photo by Richard C.Lewis/Icon Sportswire

Sooner or later the Dolphins are going to have to submit some kind of a new contract offer to two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Right?

Landry is part of the Dolphins core, after all, and every other member of that core whose contract was slated to expire within the next year has been taken care of. Right?

Right. The Dolphins signed fellow wideout Kenny Stills, safety Reshad Jones, linebacker Kiko Alonso and defensive end Andre Branch to extensions earlier this offseason.

As coach Adam Gase put it, they did so as part of an effort to, in essence, do what was right by their key players as well as the team by wrapping them up for the long term.

Landry has to be next. Right? After all, he is the Dolphins “best player on offense.’’ Those were Gase’s words, spoken last November and nothing has happened on that side of the ball since to change that.

So why is that the Dolphins still haven’t even offered Landry a contract, much less signed him to the new extensions that will keep him in Miami for years to come?

Well, obviously money has something to do with it, and the fact Landry is due to earn just $893,852 this year is probably at the core of the Dolphins decision making. Meanwhile, as we wrote previously, Landry and his agent have made it clear they want they deal done before week one or else.

Think about it. The Dolphins have a few options here. They can sign Landry to an extension now, which will be quite pricey indeed, likely in the neighborhood of $56 million depending on the length of the deal.

They can also wait and see how well Landry plays in a contract year, which could prove financially beneficial if Landry has a down year or gets hurt, which is an outcome no one wants.

That’s financially risky, of course, but not as risky as you might think because even if Landry has another big season, the parameters of whatever long-term deal he signs won’t change all that much.

Landry is believed to be looking for a deal that pays an average of about $14 million a year, and in the wake of a third-straight Pro Bowl caliber year that asking price would probably only increase by about $1 million.

That’s why the best option for the Dolphins may be to simply wait until next spring when, even in the wake of another big year, they can slap the franchise tag on him and get him for a bargain again.

How? Simple. The cost of franchising Landry a year from now will be approximately $17 million. Given that he’ll earn less than $1 million this year, the Dolphins can get Landry for two years at about $8.5 million.

That’s well below market value and while such a move could disrupt the harmony that so far exists between Landry and the Dolphins, it’s a sound fiscal move the Dolphins have to consider.

Don’t be surprised then if Landry’s self-imposed deadline for getting a deal done – which he’s set at the Sept. 10 season opener – passes without the Dolphins even making an offer.

That would somewhat fly in the face of the Dolphins supposed desire to do what’s right for their core players by wrapping them up for the long term, but from a business standpoint, it makes all kinds of good sense.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins QB Rosen did little Friday night to win starting job

Florida Football Insiders

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Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The ongoing battle for who will start the Dolphins season at quarterback took another interesting turn in Friday night’s preseason game with the Buccaneers. However, the current backup, second-year player Josh Rosen, did little to help his case to unseat veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.

New head coach Brian Flores and his offensive coordinator, Chad O’Shea, obviously challenged Rosen by having him start with the first team and play the entire first half in last night’s second preseason game.

Unfortunately, for Rosen and the coaching staff, he did a little to impress and at times, showed the same shaky quarterback play and bad throws that he did during a mostly dismal rookie season in Arizona. The final stat line read 10-18 102 yards 0 TD and 0 INT, which indicates average half of football.

And, yes there were damp conditions from pregame rain, but Rosen on multiple occasions threw behind or low towards receivers that were open for possible gains. He was also jittery against the Bucs occasional blitz package from new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Rosen was sacked three times and knocked down several others.

A key moment of scrutiny was when Rosen was unable to get the team in the end zone after they got outstanding field position on a Buccaneers 31 yard line midway through the first after fumble buy backup running back Andre Ellington. The Fins moved inside the 10, but Tampa Bay held Miami on fourth down, where Rosen threw incomplete in the right corner of the end zone to backup receiver Isaiah Ford and Miami came away with no points.

Later in the first half Rosen should have thrown an interception, as he threw the ball right to Bucs rookie defensive back Jamel Dean after throwing late and behind a receiver on the near sideline. However, Dean dropped the INT. Still, Miami punted shortly after.

Coach Brian Flores said after the joint practices with the Bucs this week that Rosen needed to “improve his body language” and leading the team.

Yet, while this was a dress rehearsal, he did little to inspire the Dolphins offense, which only managed 2 field goals even with great field position throughout the first half.

There will still be more opportunity for Rosen in the final two preseason games, and perhaps he will be be

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Miami Dolphins

Lots to watch as Bucs host Dolphins Friday night

Jamil King

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Week two of the NFL preseason continues tonight, as the Bucs will host the Dolphins in the annual in-state preseason contest. Of course, in typical Florida fashion and typical Bucs vs. Dolphins preseason fashion, the weather is looking like rain will be a factor in the game.

With that being said, here are a few things to watch for tonight:

Dolphins QB Battle:

Josh Rosen and former Buc Ryan Fitzpatrick are still battling for the spot of QB1 for the Fins. Rosen took some first-team reps in practice, and eventually Miami will need to see him work with the ones in a game at some point. Is that tonight is the question?

Also, look for Rosen’s “body language,” as that has been a topic of discussion at the joint practices this week and has been said to be one of his worst characteristics. With the weather being an issue tonight, it will be interesting to see who plays the better game at quarterback the young gunslinger or the veteran, Fitzpatrick.

Kalen Ballage:

With Kenyan Drake down with an injured foot, Ballage has an opportunity for the taking tonight. Both he and Drake were sharing reps, and Ballage was expecting expanded work coming into the season. With Drake now hurt, we could see the second year Ballage put a stronghold on the position after a great week of practice.

Bucs Secondary Depth:

The Bucs have been hit with injuries throughout the secondary positions so far in camp in particular at safety. The Bucs added a veteran safety earlier this week in former Bronco, Darin Stewart. Stewart has already practiced with the team this week and could be a nice added boost to the back end. At Corner, look to see rookie Sean Murphy-Bunting take a step forward in his second NFL game, as well as USF rookie product, Mazzi Wilkins, who will try to keep up a strong camp.

Bucs Back up QB:

Bruce Arians has said Ryan Griffin gives him reasons to keep a third QB on the active roster. Now, Griffin has to keep playing well to restore the faith. Many have thought of Griffin to be the Bucs back up, but Blaine Gabbert has come in and taken that job. Griffin will need to show Arians that a third QB should be active and that it shouldn’t go to another position.

Kicking:

Bucs Rookie Matt Gay has lit up with what could compared to a “bazooka” right leg. With his long 60-yard kicks in camp, fans are taking videos in practice. This is excellent news so far, but none of this means a thing when kicking in practice.

After hitting a Heinz Field record 55-yard attempt last week in Pittsburgh, Gay will look to continue his success from camp into game action as he looks to lock up the kicking spot on the roster.

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