Heading to the NFL Combine later this week, it’s still tough to decipher exactly what the Dolphins strategy is on Jarvis Landry with a new contract or possible trade. And, you could make a strong argument, that the front office doesn’t really know and are “making it up, as they go along.”
All the while, Landry sits back with the leverage of having been given the “Franchise Tag” a week ago, and knowing he can sign it and make $16 million this year.
Oh, and the best part of that for him? He would be a free agent again, next year.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter provided this update Tuesday afternoon:
Dolphins and agent for Miami’s franchised player Jarvis Landry scheduled to meet Wednesday in Indianapolis to discuss the WR’s future, per sources. Multiple sources believe the Dolphins are interested in trading Landry.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 26, 2018
This news is curious, because Landry’s agent Demarius Bilbo, has repeatedly told the media that the Dolphins haven’t responded to Landry’s counter offer on a long term deal, since last December. And, it’s safe to assume that, the counter offer was at least four years and at least $14 million average, because that’s the going rate that others, like Davante Adams in Green Bay, got in their extensions in 2017.
Miami obviously wasn’t willing to pay that to this point, and so, the “mini-standoff” continued into February.
But now? The Dolphins have “blinked” and put a one year $16 million dollar tag on him, and Landry completely controls whether he signs it.
Dolphins beat writer Armando Salguero wrote late Tuesday on the Miami Herald website that he hears that the Dolphins are intent on a trade for something in return for Landry. However, if Miami is actually trying to trade Landry before Free Agency begins late next week, they now have given him all the leverage to make it happen.
Example, if VP Mike Tannenbaum and GM Chris Grier have a team that is interested and that has salary cap room, but Landry doesn’t want to play there, he can simply refuse to agree to a long term extension.
No team is going to give up a premium pick or picks, pay Landry $16 million for only this year and have him be able to walk after 2018.
Now, the Chiefs have already pulled off two deals before free agency, one for QB Alex Smith to the Redskins for a pick and CB Kendall Fuller. And then, Tuesday they announced they are dealing CB Marcus Peters to the Rams for two draft picks. But in Smith’s case, he’s getting a lucrative extension and Peters is still under contract and had no real say so in being dealt.
That’s not what the Dolphins have, right now with the Landry status.
You add to the fact that Landry is the Dolphins best player and offensive weapon, and he should command at least a #1 pick, if not two total picks in return. He knows that, and other teams know that.
If, as Salguero wrote, they can only get a mid-round pick offer for a player in his mid-20’s, who has more catches than any NFL receiver in his first four years in the league, then the Fins have botched this. Fans in South Florida will rightfully be outraged.
Then, it will be confirmation the Dolphins brass will have been negotiating the last few months with themselves in their Landry strategy.
And, it will be 100% their fault that they didn’t get a long term deal done before now, and can’t make a credible trade, either.
Advantage, Jarvis Landry.
Dolphins moving eventually to new facility near Hard Rock Stadium?
It’s not as earth shattering as a huge free agent signing or hosting a playoff game, but the fact that the Dolphins are close to moving locations from their current training complex in Davie to a more convenient one next to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens is a big deal.
— Miami Herald Sports (@HeraldSports) July 14, 2018
From the Herald’s item, there is definitely some competitive interest in luring the Dolphins away:
Miami Gardens might defray the cost of security in and around Hard Rock Stadium to help seal the deal, and Miami-Dade County could amend the existing stadium renovation agreement that pays the Dolphins a bonus for hosting major events.
“Twenty-five years ago, the Dolphins moved their football headquarters from North Dade to Davie, and I’ve wanted them back ever since,” Miami Dade Commissioner Barbara Jordan said. “When I heard Mr. Ross was considering a new $50 million practice facility in Broward, I knew we had to have a conversation about bringing this massive private investment to Miami-Dade. To me, it’s a perfect fit for our community and will bring a lot of economic activity to Miami-Dade.”
Added Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert: “From Top Golf to the Super Bowl, Miami Gardens has become a destination for world-class entertainment, and venues that attract visitors on a consistent basis are a critical component of economic development. Between the Miami Open and Miami Dolphins training camp, we can generate $100 million-plus in privately funded construction, hundreds of good-paying jobs, a significant boost to our tax base and new opportunities for residents to live, work and play. It would be great to bring the Miami Dolphins training facility back home to the 305.”
So, clearly there’s some “wooing” going on, and if Fins owner Stephen Ross is going to privately fund the new facility to the tune of at least $50 and maybe as high as, $75 million, then there is ample reason to try to lure them. Ross has already put over $500 million of his own money into a three year renovation of Hard Rock Stadium.
The Dolphins training adjacent to the stadium where they play or in the same complex area, is not uncommon. In the cases of Florida’s other two NFL teams: the Jaguars train adjacent to TIAA Bank Field, and the Bucs complex is across the street from Raymond James Stadium.
And, there are other examples of the Bengals, the Texans, and the Patriots who train either next to or in the same complex as where they play on Sundays.
The reality is that the new facility will not be ready for at least another two seasons, no matter where it’s located. Still, the convenience and new design will also be an asset for the Dolphins to attract players, too.
Now it’s up to the franchise to decide where and how soon, they want to build.
DeMarco Murray retired or still in play for teams like Dolphins and Jaguars?
On Friday afternoon, former Pro Bowl RB DeMarco Murray made an announcement on ESPN that he is “retiring” from the NFL. We put it in quotes, because we are skeptical that the 30 year old Murray is actually “retiring.”
Rather, he may have been using his opportunity as a guest analyst on the “NFL Live” show the last two days to essentially, create some buzz and perhaps an opportunity to sign on with a team later this month or as preseason gets underway.
First, here was Murray, who played for the Titans the last two seasons, making his decision, for now:
This Just In: Former Offensive Player of the Year DeMarco Murray is retiring from football at the age of 30. pic.twitter.com/4S9tDP8C7r
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) July 13, 2018
Now, one of the teams that Murray had serious talks with was the Dolphins. However, that was back in March and eventually, Miami chose not to sign him. Instead, they inked veteran and Miami native, Frank Gore.
Back to Murray, he also took a visit with the Lions, and after the NFL suspended Saints RB Mark Ingram for four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, New Orleans contacted him.
However, the seven year veteran Murray refused to work out with a group of prospective running backs and the Saints.New Orleans elected to sign former Browns running back Terrance West.
An obvious “red flag” that has hindered Murray is his lack of 2017 production. Murray’s 659 yards in 15 games were the fewest of his career and his 3.6 average matched his career worst (his dreadful 2015 one year in Philly).
The other is that Murray may have “priced himself out” of an opportunity. He has been paid on average over $7 million the last three seasons with the Eagles and then, 2016-17 with the Titans. The Eagles originally gave him a five year $40 million dollar deal with a $5 million signing bonus in 2015.
The Titans traded for Murray the next off season and re-worked that deal giving him $12.5 million as a signing bonus to help their cap situation.
Now, despite what he announced, Murray could still have value to a team. In the Dolphins case, not only did the they sign Gore, but they drafted running back Kalen Ballage in April. So, unless Gore is injured, Murray is not as needed.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars have second year power back Leonard Fournette, who will be the primary ball carrier, but they let veteran Chris Ivory go and he signed with the Bills. Jacksonville also has backup T.J. Yeldon, who filled in well for a couple of games with Fournette either injured or on a one game suspension.
Still, Murray could be a veteran that helps the Jaguars, if they want and he would agree to a lesser deal than what he’s been making.
And there are obviously more teams that may have an injury during camp or preseason that could call Murray, too.
Then, we’ll find out if his “retiring” in early July is for real.
Dolphins announced six new members to “Walk of Fame” Tuesday
While Dolphins fans will be most concerned with training camp and the short term future (2018 season), Tuesday was a brief time to get nostalgic with some former Fins greats.
That’s because the team announced six new players into their re-furbished “Walk of Fame” at Hard Rock Stadium to be honored at the December 2nd home game with the Bills.
Hall of Famer defensive end Jason Taylor, former Pro Bowl safety and member of the undefeated 1972 Superbowl champs Dick Anderson, the dynamic wide receiving “Marks Brothers” of the 1980’s Mark Duper (shown above) and Mark Clayton, multi-time Pro Bowl linebacker John Offerdahl, and little heralded left tackle of the 1980’s John Giesler make up the 2018 class.
— South Florida Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) July 10, 2018
And, Mike Persak reported on reactions and comments from Duper and Offerdahl Tuesday:
“We don’t realize how much the Dolphins really is involved in the community in South Florida,” Duper said. “… And it’s a great feeling just knowing you’re a part of that — knowing you’re a part of the Miami Dolphins organization.”
Duper caught 59 touchdowns (including 32 in a four year period from 1983-86) and had four 1,000 yard receiving seasons.
“I get pumped. I do,” Offerdahl said. “Obviously, I’m like 30 pounds heavier and a lot of gray hair, but I get pumped up when anything to do with the Dolphins, and I’m associated with it. And to be honored by the Miami Dolphins and the community and just to realize as I age and my kids get older, that I had such great times back in the ’80s playing the great game of football, meeting people that changed the life of not only me, but South Florida and literally the nation.”
Offerdahl went to five straight Pro Bowls from 1986-90.
Taylor, perhaps the most dominant Miami pass rusher ever (131 sacks as a Dolphin), received Pro Football’s ultimate honor by going into the Hall of Fame last summer. He was not in attendance for Tuesday’s announcement. Neither was Mark Clayton. Anderson was there beaming from ear to ear.
As for Giesler, who was the primary blind-side blocking left tackle for the early years of Dan Marino’s career, he has had multiple knee and back surgeries and was unable to travel to South Florida in person for the announcement. He did however, appear via video conferencing Tuesday and expressed gratitude for being remembered.
Because of stadium renovations over the last three years, these are the first additions to the “Walk of Fame” since 2014.
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