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.