The offseason is tea-leaf reading season — at least for free-agent-to-be Jarvis Landry.
When we last spoke to Landry, it was just hours before the New Year and Landry had just gotten kicked out of perhaps his final game as a Miami Dolphin.
The most important question of that news conference: Will you be back in 2018?
“I don’t know,” Landry said. “I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Here’s what we do now: Landry enjoys communicating directly to his fans on social media, through his Twitter account.
Except he does not always come out and say exactly what he means. His Twitter feed is a bit like abstract art: People have to draw their own conclusions.
So let’s take a look at a handful of posts from the past couple of months, and try to discern what point he’s trying to make.
Theory: Landry — nicknamed “Juice” because he juices up an offense with his energy — was displeased with his teammates’ lifeless showing in the Dolphins’ 45-21 drubbing at the hands of the Panthers.
The Dolphins were embarrassed on national television for the second time in three weeks, and halfway through a season-derailing five-game losing streak.
Theory: This one is pretty self-explanatory — and prophetic. Like Landry, then-Carolina Panther Steve Smith was an undersized receiver who got by on route-running, sure hands, and — more than anything — toughness.
Heck, the trash-talking Smith became an instant meme in 2013 when he told defeated, ailing New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib to “ice up, son” in a post-game interview.
But Landry’s passion crossed the line in each of the next two weeks. He got into a sideline shouting match with Dolphins coach Adam Gase on Christmas Eve, and then incited a brawl that earned his ejection seven days later.
Theory: Honestly, we’re not quite sure, but could Landry have been sending a not-so-veiled message to Mike Tannenbaum that the longer the contract impasse plays out, the more uncomfortable he will make the negotiations? The two sides were not particularly close on a deal at the time (and by all accounts, still have lots of space between them).
Theory: Landry’s latest post came just hours after he was named to the Pro Bowl for the third time in his career.
No big mystery to solve here: This is a shot at his critics, including those in the media. Landry has said he’s tired of always getting criticism for his faults without acknowledgment of his many successes.