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 hit big plays against Raiders to remain unbeaten
Another Sunday of big plays and another win for the Dolphins, who for the first time since 2013 are 3 – 0. This after dealing the Raiders their third straight loss in a 28-20 come-from-behind victory at Hard Rock Stadium.
After Oakland scored almost immediately, when quarterback Derek Carr hit Jordy Nelson on a long completion and then with a red zone touchdown pass, Miami found themselves trailing quickly 7 to nothing.
But from there on, the Fins began to hit the Raiders with one big play after another. That started with a 34-yard beautifully thrown touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a streaking Kenny Stills to tie the game 7-7.
The Raiders actually took a 10-7 lead into the locker room and then put together a lengthy Frive capped with a Marshawn Lynch up and over touchdown in a 17-7 lead.
However, the Dolphins were not fazed and 2 minutes of clock time later had marched into Raiders scoring territory. That’s when Jakeem Grant took an inside flip hand off from Tannehill (above) and raced around the right end to cut the lead to 17 – 14.
Next, head coach Adam gase went into the” bag of tricks” and after a double hand off, receiver Albert Wilson fired this long pass to Grant down the right sideline:
SOME TRICKERATION TO TAKE THE LEAD!
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) September 23, 2018
The 52-yard trick play touchdown, gave Miami the lead for the first time at 21-17.
The Raiders tried to mount a go ahead drive but Derek Carr’s the pass for Martavis Bryant was picked off by Xavien Howard ending their threat.
Next, Wilson caught another short pass from Tannehill and did the rest, racing around the left sideline for a 72-yard score at the 2-minute warning, which put the game away.
Tannehill finished 17-23 for 289 yards and the three TD passes. Carr had 345 yards and a TD in the losing effort, but also two costly interceptions.
The Dolphins are 3-0 for the first time since 2013. That team finished 8-8 and still missed the playoffs.
The Raiders fanfare of hiring Jon Gruden out of the Monday Night Football booth is over, as they are now 0-3 and already three games behind the Chiefs, who won Sunday.
Gameday- Dolphins host Raiders looking to remain unbeaten
Who: Dolphins (2-0) vs. Raiders (0-2)
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens
When: Sunday 1 p.m.
Spread: Dolphins by 3 (Courtesy Vegasinsider.com)
Miami has opened by winning the first two games for the first time since 2013 and now has a golden opportunity to get to 3 – 0 today. Here’s what we’re watching
Progression of Ryan Tannehill
Coming off a solid start by spreading the ball around to numerous receivers, Ryan Tannehill will look to keep it up. The Raiders defense is obviously reeling after the trading of Khalil Mack on the eve of the season, and Tannehill may be able to take advantage of the Oakland secondary.
Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson as the deep threats could do significant damage later today. Look for coach Adam Gase and coordinator Dowell Loggains to test them early.
Does Derek Carr follow up last week’s performance?
Oakland’s 5th Year quarterback was tremendous for much of the Denver game a week ago, completing 23 of his first 24 passes. With the Raiders getting acclimated to Jon Gruden’s new offense and terminology, it’s still obvious they want to get the ball out of Carr’s hand quickly with short throws.
Another part of Oakland’s offensive success is the early running of Marshawn Lynch, who is questionable for this game with an injured shoulder. They would like to set up play action with Lynch or backup running back Jalen Richard. If Miami can stuff the run, it will help greatly in stopping the Raiders attack.
Dolphins defense continues its optimistic play?
Whether it was surviving the two lengthy weather delays two weeks ago against the Titans with key sacks and takeaways, or last week in New York with frustrating rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, Miami has been able to make plays at times.
That needs to continue on Sunday. Safety Reshad Jones will be a game-time decision with his injured shoulder and that could affect their defensive scheme for coordinator Matt Burke.
If Miami’s pass rushers, Robert Quinn, Cameron Wake, Charles Harris, Etc can get to Carr it will make life easier at Hard Rock Stadium.
Jon Gruden’s returns to Florida already in coaching turmoil
It may be premature to say that the “second honeymoon” for Jon Gruden with the Oakland Raiders is already over, but another defeat Sunday, and it likely is.
The Raiders are clearly struggling after dropping their second straight game last week in heartbreaking fashion against the Broncos in Denver. Oakland controlled most of the game and Derek Carr was outstanding, completing 23 of his first 24 passes on the day.
However, in the end Case Keenum rallied the Broncos and when Brandon McManus’ last-second field goal went through, the smirking critics of “Chucky” were already “sticking their chests out” about his NFL return.
Without question, some of this is self-inflicted, as Gruden clearly did not want to pay and therefore keep, linebacker Khalil Mack for the Raiders. And yes, they got a bounty of draft picks in return, but Mack has been nothing short of sensational as a pass rusher in two games in Chicago, and the Raiders defense is again mediocre-at-best.
So, that brings us to Sunday. And even though Gruden has been living in the Tampa Bay area while doing Monday Night Football for ESPN, this is the first time that he’s back coaching a game in the state since the final regular-season game of 2008. That day, ironically his Buccaneers lost to the Raiders completing a four-game losing collapse and costing his team a playoff spot-ultimately Gruden his job with the Bucs.
Now, the Raiders have come all the way East to Miami to play the 2 – 0 Dolphins. And while Gruden is in absolutely no jeopardy of losing his job, at least not until year 3 or 4 if it’s not working, owner Mark Davis didn’t make this shockwave multimillion-dollar hire to have the Raiders be one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Clearly, there was going to be some learning curve for Gruden with his new staff and new players. However, with a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback like Carr the belief was the Raiders would be solid, if not a wild card playoff contender.
It hasn’t shaped up that way as of yet.
The good news for Raider fans is: no one is going to outwork Gruden at trying to get it right.
The bad news is: the Raiders may not have enough overall talent to overcome that above-mentioned learning curve and digging themselves an 0-3 hole start 2018.
And the Fins, may be about to deal “Raider Nation” their latest lost Sunday.
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