The Miami Dolphins announced on Tuesday they had placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. The move, made on the first day franchise tags were allowed to be used, will pay Landry a guaranteed salary of around $16 million for one season with the Dolphins, but also allows him to negotiate with other teams and, if a deal is reached, the Dolphins will receive two first-round draft picks from the other team.
The moves essentially makes sure the Dolphins keep Landry’s rights, paying him a ton of money in the process, while allowing the two sides to continue to work toward a long-term deal. It could also signal the Dolphins are willing to part with Landry for a hefty price if a team is willing to pay it. It is a strange thing to have happen, especially on the first day franchise tags can be applied.
Tagging Landry is not overly surprising, despite it having been an option that many seemed to have forgotten was still on the table. The Dolphins have wanted to keep Landry, though they did seem worried about some of his fiery actions that have led to penalties and even an ejection. The fact that it came this quickly is, however, a surprise.
As former Dolphins beat reporter and current ESPN NFL Jeff Darlington tweeted, a tag this early in the two-week window typically signals something else. Deadlines lead to action in the NFL - and there was no deadline on Tuesday. He laid out the three main options for the Dolphins from here: rescind the tag later, re-sign Landry to a long-term contract (typically a team friendly one in the case of the early tag), or keep the tag in place and “rent” the player for one year.
Any of those options could be in play with the Dolphins and Landry, with the last one a strong possibility. The Dolphins want to make sure Landry’s fieriness can be contained in a more productive method. They could be using the one-year “rental” piece to make sure they are not locked into a long-term deal that they cannot easily escape if Landry’s on-field behavior is not something with which they feel they can deal. Landry is a competitor and that has led to penalties that have hurt the team. They could use the franchise tag as a one-year “prove-it” type of deal, with a desire to see if Landry can keep the fire when competing, but not get the penalties.
Whatever the case, the Dolphins now have around $16-million counted against the salary cap for next year with the tag on Landry. There seems to be another shoe to drop in this situation, with either a trade, a long-term deal, or a one-year prove-it yet to happen. Was it the right move for the Dolphins?
Was Jarvis Landry franchise tag the right move for Dolphins?
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