Note: This was updated at 3:15 p.m. Thursday with comments from Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.
Not only have the Dolphins surprisingly not extended a contract offer to record-setting receiver Jarvis Landry, but they also have given him no indication if they will even make one.
Though Landry’s agent Damarius Bilbo declined to comment, Landry’s associates had anticipated that the team would offer him a new contract this offseason.
But that hasn’t happened nearly seven months into the offseason, and Landry has said he won’t negotiate a deal once the regular season begins Sept. 10. Training camp began Thursday.
Landry, in the final year of his rookie contract, is being paid $893,850 this season - less than at least 105 NFL receivers – and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next spring.
But the Dolphins know they can place the franchise tag on him next spring, which would carry a salary in the $15 million range. Landry would prefer a lucrative longterm deal than being given the franchise or transition tag, as would be the preference generally with high-end players.
“I think that he's a great player,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said. “There's no question about it. I think he handled himself well. He didn't hold out. It's not a question -- if we don't sign him now, we lose him. We can franchise him and go from there. There's a lot of opportunity for him to stay here. I hope he stays here. He's a great player.”
Asked if he’s optimistic that deal will get done before the season, Ross said: “I don't know if before the season, but like I said, it's not really mandatory that we do it before the season.”
Landry, asked Thursday if it mattered to him one way or the other if he gets a new deal before Sept. 10, paused for a moment and said: “I am out here just focusing on now, focusing on all the things I can control every time I step on the field. Everything else, man, is out of my hands, out of my control and I leave that with God.”
Landry never considered a holdout. Asked if there was a chance he wouldn’t show up for the first day of camp, Landry said: “No there was not.”
Was it important for him to show up on day one of camp despite not getting a new deal?
“It was very,” he said. “For me, being a leader and having an opportunity to take another step. We don’t need anything hindering us off that path. For me to be here and show the guys it is about them and it is about the team, that’s what I’m here to do.”
As for areas he needs to improve, Landry said: “Just continue to finish with the ball and get in the end zone. Do the little things right and get in the end zone.”
Landry has 13 touchdown receptions in three seasons, including four last year.
Asked if he, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills could become a top five or top 10 NFL receiving troika, he said: “Everything we do we want to be the best. It’s not top five.”
Landry and his friend and former LSU teammate, the Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr., share the NFL record for most receptions by a player in the first three years of a career (288).
”It means everything,” he said of sharing that record with Beckham. “It’s something we both talked about. The race for year four is on. It will be fun. It will be interesting. I love him to death.”