Late in the season, the Dolphins seemed to decide that they plan to invest long-term in receiver Jarvis Landry, to go along with their long-term investment in receiver Kenny Stills. Next came, possibly, the effort to reduce Landry’s financial expectations, whether via private discussions with Landry’s agent or the engineering of public opinion aimed at making him want less than he could get.
Whatever the plan, it apparently won’t work. Landry’s agent has made it clear that the player will be trying to secure maximum compensation from a football franchise.
“How long has this franchise been around?” Damarius Bilbo told Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post on Wednesday. “It’s always going to be here. Take a discount? Absolutely not. This may be Jarvis’ first and last time to set himself up and his family up. He needs to strike and strike while the iron is hot. Plenty of guys that were drafted ahead of Jarvis have not performed to his level. Look at Jarvis’ performance level. If you want to compare him to the T.Y. Hiltons and the Doug Baldwins, those deals were done two or three years ago. It’s his time now. He’s next man up.”
At this point, the best play (really, the only play) will be to wait and see whether the Dolphins use the franchise tag on Landry. Bilbo wouldn’t be upset by a one-year tender that would entail compensation of roughly $16.5 million.
“It would be a step in the right direction,” Bilbo said. “It would show they’re taking the most aggressive approach to keeping him there, I guess. And that’s something we still have some time to work out.”
If the Dolphins tag Landry, the two sides will have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal, and Landry would be able to fall back on the franchise tender for 2018 and a shot at the open market or a 2019 franchise tender that would be 20-percent higher. If the tag isn’t used, Landry will be able to explore the open market, comparing whatever someone else is willing to pay to whatever the Dolphins are willing to pay.
What the Dolphins are willing to pay is the ultimate question on this one, because it’s now clear what Landry is willing to take: Not a penny less than that to which he’s entitled.