Miami Dolphins wide-receiver Jarvis Landry is not a free agent. Not until the 2017 season is over and the 2018 NFL new year begins. But he needs to be re-signed now.
The Dolphins have reportedly put an emphasis on locking Landry down this off-season so as not to worry about it after next year when it would be crunch time. It can’t simply be an emphasis. It needs to be a priority. Re-signing Jarvis Landry is a committment to the Dolphins fan base.
Years have gone by since Dolphins fans had a go-to guy on the field. That hard-working blue-collar attitude that resonates with the hard-working blue-collar class of fans that can relate. Zach Thomas was one of those players. Jason Taylor was one of those players. Lifelong Dolphins players that carried with them the adoration of the fan base even when they left to play elsewhere.
The Dolphins would love for Ryan Tannehill to be “that” guy but he won’t be. Even if he returns in 2017 and leads the team to a Super Bowl he will have detractors. It’s just the way it is. Tannehill is a pretty boy and while many fans love him there are just as many fans who either don’t are don’t have a strong opinion.
Landry however is different. Some would say that currently Cam Wake is as popular but that is debatable. Wake is good. He is better than good but Wake is older and his late start to his career via the CFL didn’t allow fans to watch him grow. Landry has been here since day one. His popularity has been here since day one.
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Jarvis Landry is probably the best draft pick in a decade. If not more. Reshad Jones in 2010 comes close but Jones’ quasi holdout for more money after two years in to a four-year deal rubbed some the wrong way.
The Dolphins need a face to the franchise and some could argue that a receiver, a slot receiver at that may not be what they had in mind but Landry is more than a simple slot receiver. He is the heart and soul of an offense. He is the work ethic that incoming rookies look at and try to emulate. He is the guy that fans will line up to see after practice.
The Dolphins are starting to turn a corner under Adam Gase and Landry represents that change in attitude more than any other individual on the team. As the Dolphins look to improve along the offensive line, defensive line, corners, tight-ends, and at linebacker, Landry stands as testament to one singular individual who embodies the fans frustrations of the last two decades.
Landry has been working hard since his first practice. Staying after practice to catch balls off the machines. He works hard to better himself and by doing so sends the message of leadership to the rest of the team.
Miami Dolphins fans are starting to have something to cheer for. The team is looking better and moving forward. Jarvis Landry is a big part of that. Re-signing Mike Pouncey when they did was smart. Re-signing Ryan Tannehill made sense. Neither of which made a bit of difference to the fans. Re-signing Landry will give fans someone to pin as their favorite. An individual who can change a game with a single catch or punt return. A player who excites the crowd every time he gets the ball in his hands.
Over the next few weeks the Dolphins will start addressing their own free agent contracts including Kenny Stills, Jermon Bushrod, Dion Sims, and Andre Branch. Landry and Reshad Jones may not have their time in the contract office until well after free agency winds down but it needs to happen for Landry. This year.
Football teams don’t often tend to make business decisions based on fan interests but there are times, albeit rare ones when a player comes a long that can be as important to the franchise as it is to the fans who watch the games. Landry is that kind of player.