Jarvis Landry literally took his ball and went home — with a quick pit stop in the Dolphins’ locker room.
Landry walked up the home tunnel Sunday, football in one hand and helmet in the huddle, after getting ejected for his role in an ugly fight between the Dolphins and the Bills.
When the dust cleared, Landry was flagged for both unsportsmanlike conduct and disrespecting an official — even though he insists he said nothing to the referee.
“I didn't disrespect the official,” Landry said. “He said I was ejected and walk to the locker room.”
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Why were you ejected?
“For protecting myself. I came to the locker room.”
So you didn't say anything to the official?
When asked if he regretted anything about the exchange, Landry responded:
“I regret putting my teammates in a bad spot. I regret putting myself in a bad spot. But again, I do have a career to protect, and if somebody tries to jeopardize that, I have the right to defend myself too.”
Landry said that Bills safety Jordan Poyer put his hands near Landry’s neck, underneath his face mask, and Landry was simply returning in kind.
There has to be more the story, however, and Dolphins coach Adam Gase knows at least part of it.
Landry also might have gotten into it with his teammates on the sideline before leaving the field, and Mike Pouncey in particular was upset with his teammates’ behavior.
“I know what he did, but it's not something that I want to say right now,” Gase said.
Adding to the drama: Landry walking to the locker room could be his last — and lasting — image as a Dolphin.
He is due to be a free agent in March, and had his best statistical season at the best possible time.
Landry caught 112 passes in 2017, which not only broke his own team record but also was the most in the NFL in 2017. Landry became the first Dolphin to lead the league in catches since O.J. McDuffie did so in 1998.
“It is very important,” Landry said. “It's something that I've worked all of my life to say, to do. To have it all come to life is a testament to the work that I've been putting in, my teammates, my coaches, for giving me that opportunity, helping me. And God really.”
So what now? The Dolphins and Landry’s representative have had talks, but the two sides have much work to do.
“I get a lot of time to spend with my daughter, my family,” Landry said. “I've enjoyed this whole process. I thank God for giving me this opportunity, to put me in this position. I'm just excited about the next step in my life.”
As for the chances he leaves, that Sunday was his final game in a Dolphins uniform?
“I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.”