Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry heads into the final year of his rookie contract this year, a situation that has bothered some fans and analysts who are waiting for the team to re-sign their two-time Pro Bowl receiver. It has been a point of criticism for some, with the fact that Miami made a concerted effort this offseason to re-sign several of their own players including defensive end Andre Branch, wide receiver Kenny Stills, linebacker Kiko Alonso, guard Jermon Bushrod, and safety Reshad Jones. Of those players, Jones was the only one who was not scheduled to be a free agent this year, however, so the Dolphins were busy bringing back players who could have left this offseason. The team has a year, essentially, to work out a new contract with Landry, something that seems to be a certainty, even if the lack of a deadline is allowing the issue to drag along longer than most would like.
“I’m just kind in the background waiting my turn,” Landry said of how he is looking at the contract situation.
Jones skipped some of the early offseason program work last year as he was looking for a new contract, but the Dolphins eventually talked him back to the team, telling him they would take care of him. This offseason, which would have been the final year on his deal if not for the signed extension, Jones signed a four-year, $48 million contract, with the team taking care of him just as they had said. Jones was asked on Wednesday for his thoughts on Landry’s situation, and what he would tell the receiver. “Just continue to do the right things, buy into the system, be the leader that you are for the team and for the offensive side of the ball and just to continue to do things the right way and this organization will reward you,” Jones replied
“Last year, they just told me continue to do the right things,” Jones continued. “They’re just not going to do things two years before it was time. Everything was right. They kept their word and they made it happen.”
At some point, the Dolphins and Landry will get this new contract completed. Miami wants Landry to stay, and Landry wants to stay. Now, it is time for the team to take care of Landry - but in the NFL, deadlines typically get contracts completed, and the deadline for a new deal for Landry is in March.
“Wouldn’t you?” Landry laughed when asked if he would like to have a new contract completed before the season begins. He stressed, however, that there is no point where he has made a deadline and is planning to walk away from the team if he does not have a new deal, “Like I said, again, I don’t really have a breaking point. Honestly, I’m at the point in my life where I’m set. I’m comfortable with the position that I am in right now and again, I’m here to help my team get to the Super Bowl. It starts with me being here. I can’t be one of those guys that sit out or not show up or just bring bad whatever to the organization. It’s something that for me, I know that I needed to be here.”
Head coach Adam Gase said during the offseason that he expected Landry to report for the voluntary workouts, not letting his contract situation stop him from being the leader of the receiver corps. On Wednesday, he returned to that thought, telling the media, who had asked about Landry’s ability to compartmentalize his contract situation when he is on the field with the team. Gase explained, “We [Gase and Landry] haven’t really had too many conversations about contract status. Everything is really done in-house. I just knew he was going to show up and he was going to work as hard as he can possibly work and find ways to get better and try to be one of the leaders of this team and encourage the young guys and find ways to help us get better. The way that we kind of do things here is put your head down and work and things will work out.”
“No, that didn’t cross my mind at all,” Landry said of the possibility of skipping the team’s voluntary offseason program. “My whole objective was to help my team get to the Super Bowl. That starts with me being here, first of all. I’m not really worried about any contract or anything like that. I’m more focused on trying to help my team get to the Super Bowl, week-in and week-out, playing hard, playing well, playing together.”
The Dolphins and Landry have had some discussions, but it does not seem there is anything imminent when it comes to his contract. Landry explained, stating, “We’ve talked back and forth but there’s nothing really going on. Honestly, we’re just really kind of focusing on right now – today. That’s the priority right now.”
Miami and Landry will eventually get a new deal in place. It could come some time this summer, or they could wait until the offseason, but there seems to be a fairly mutual desire to see a new contract get completed. The Dolphins have the backup right now to be able to use the franchise tag this offseason to make sure Landry does not leave if a new contract takes longer to work out than either side would like. It probably will not - and should not - take that long or get to the point that the franchise tag is an option, and everyone seems to recognize that this needs to get done at some point. The time for the Dolphins to get a new deal done with Landry is now, but Landry is not stressing over it and, right now, is looking more toward his play on the field than on getting his name on paper.