The Dolphins Should Use Their Franchise Tag on Jarvis Landry

George Martinez
The Miami Dolphins and Jarvis Landry seem to have reached a stalemate in contract negotiations. The team seems unwilling to pay him the kind of money top wide receivers make in the NFL, even following a season in which he led the league in receptions. Landry appears dead-set on a contract that reflects the record-setting pace he has produced since being drafted by the Fins in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Neither side seems willing to budge, and because Landry has labeled negotiations until this point "disrespectful," a compromise must be reached before both sides decide to part ways.

Luckily, there's a solution that should make everyone happy. It's expensive for the Dolphins but adequate nonetheless: The team should place the franchise tag on Landry and pay him $16.325 million in the upcoming season. That's the average price of the top five receivers in the NFL.

The franchise tag allows teams to control the rights of a player for one season and adds a year to negotiate a longer-term deal. The first day the Dolphins can use the franchise tag is tomorrow, February 20. The team shouldn't hesitate in using it with Landry.

A one-year solution seems like the best outcome for both sides. It allows the Dolphins to see what Ryan Tannehill has to offer coming off knee surgery while also providing Landry a premium salary that will pay him more in a season than he has made in his entire career. He gets taken care of quickly, and the Dolphins get another 12 months to decide if they are the sort of team that can afford to pay a slot receiver $15 million per year or if they are in rebuilding mode.

In a vacuum, paying Landry makes zero sense. The Dolphins are up against the salary cap and have far more pressing needs than him. The thing is, this season is too important to lose the main cog of your squad. This Fins team, with Tannehill likely in a make-or-break year, deserves a shot.

The 2018 season is pivotal one for the Dolphins. They should agree to kick the can down the road on Landry.  He has earned the huge paycheck he would receive.
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.

Latest Stories