The narrative surrounding the Miami Dolphins has changed. Around this time last year, the Fins were the butt of everyone's jokes. They were an annual disappointment. Fans were lucky to even be disappointed, because that meant that at some point, the team had at least tricked you into expecting something from it. For years, Miami sat by and watched other NFL fans open presents, while they got nothing.
Last year, all of that changed. The Dolphins made the playoffs, but that wasn't really why it felt like the culture changed. Even new head coach Adam Gase coming to town wasn't the real catalyst. Really, the shift began in 2014, when the Dolphins selected Jarvis Landry with the 63rd pick in the NFL draft.
Landry instantly brought an attitude to the huddle that wasn't familiar to Dolphins fans. His excitement for the game and passion for every play, no matter the score, is similar to what Jose Fernandez brought to the Marlins dugout. With his effort and style of play, Landry elevates his teammates. He's more than just a receiver; he's a franchise-changing personality. He's a culture-changer.
Landry is also in the last year of his rookie contract and could be doing all of these great things for an opponent next season, so it's high time the Dolphins lock him up and keep the heart of their team in Miami for the foreseeable future. Find the money. Pay the man.
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After this season, Landry will have made $3,474,911 with the Dolphins since he came into the NFL. Total. For four years of service. That is one hell of a bargain for a guy who has already caught 288 balls and 13 touchdowns in his career, a faster start in terms of number of catches than anyone in NFL history. You can bet if the Dolphins let Landry test the market next offseason, he will have no problem making more than his career earnings in just a few games.
The Dolphins might be at a place right now where they can get a small hometown discount. If they plan to use Landry less this season and rely more on running back Jay Ajayi, they can bet Landry will add being a bigger part of an offense to his list of priorities as he enters the free-agent market.
Now is the time to lock up their best wide receiver.