The Dolphins have placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on receiver Jarvis Landry, a move that would pay the receiver about $16 million next season if the sides do not agree on a long-term contract.
The Dolphins will continue to work with Landry on a multiyear deal but also have the right to rescind the tag if they choose.
Another option available to the Dolphins: They could trade Landry to a team with ample salary cap space.
Whatever happens in the weeks to come, however, the Dolphins will not lose Landry without getting compensation in return. By using the non-exclusive tag, the Dolphins would receive two first-round draft picks in compensation from any team that signs him to a long-term deal.
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They retain control of a highly productive player who they have drafted and developed.
Tuesday was the first day that teams could use the franchise tag, and Miami moved quickly.
The Dolphins offered Landry a new contract in early December, and Landry’s agent, Damarius Bilbo, made a counteroffer in mid-December.
The Dolphins had not responded to that counteroffer as of late last week. Bilbo declined comment when reached by the Miami Herald late Tuesday.
Miami’s most recent offer to Landry is believed to be in the range of $13 million annually, according to a team source.
Landry is said to be seeking a deal similar to the four-year, $58 million contract signed by Green Bay’s DeVante Adams.
Landry told the Miami Herald in December that he would be fine with either a long-term contract or the franchise tag.
In mid January, he said that he believed the negotiations had been handled “a bit disrespectful” to that point.
“I displayed I was a team guy,” Landry said a month ago. “I understand not going to OTAs and training camp would raise eyebrows.
“My agent and I talked about being a leader and setting a good example, so I silenced all those things by going to OTAs and training camp, by putting the team first and being a team guy. I feel like in the NFL, they preach loyalty and family and they have none for you. As a player, you see it’s not a family during negotiations, how it becomes them versus me or me versus them. That’s part of the NFL I believe the fans don’t see.”
But a source said remaining with the Dolphins is appealing to him.
Landry has had a highly productive yet tumultuous time in Miami. His 400 catches are the most ever by a player in his first four NFL seasons.
But Dolphins coach Adam Gase has in the past called Landry a “hothead” (which, to be fair, is a description Gase has used on himself), and when the year ended, it was clear that he had grown tired of Landry’s outbursts.
In the season’s final two games, Landry got into a sideline shouting match with his coach and then got kicked out of a game for helping incite an ugly brawl with the Bills. For his role in the fight, and offensive language he directed at an official, Landry was fined over $48,000.
Still, he has allies in the locker room, and just hours prior to the Dolphins’ application of the franchise tag, a team leader said he wanted Landry back in 2018.
“[Landry’s] a great football player,” Dolphins center Mike Pouncey said Tuesday at an event teaching high school kids the importance of budgeting their money. “He’s done a lot of great things for our organization. Hopefully, they get it worked out. That’s their issue that they’ve got to deal with. Jarvis is a good football player and he’s done lot for the team.”
Pouncey added: “I stay out of the contract situation. I just check on himself, see how he’s doing in the offseason and make sure he’s working out hard. Jarvis, he’s going to get what he’s earned in this football league and that’s the way it’s going to go.”