The Miami Dolphins need to stop playing games and pay Jarvis Landry

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 31: Jarvis Landry being held back by temmate Jesse Davis
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 31: Jarvis Landry being held back by temmate Jesse Davis /

Perhaps the biggest question of the off-season for the Miami Dolphins is whether to re-sign Jarvis Landry or not. The answer is simple, pay him.

Jarvis Landry has been the heart and soul of the Dolphins offense over the past four years. He brings a fiery personality, that no one else seems to have, on the field and backs his attitude up with his play.

The Dolphins seem to be looking at the Landry situation from three aspects:

  1. Does he produce enough for the offense?
  2. Is that production worthy enough to pay Landry as a number one receiver?
  3. And is his cocky attitude/fiery personality worth dealing with?

The answer to all three of those questions is yes.

Let’s break it down:

Does he produce enough for the offense?

This is the easiest ‘yes’ of the three. Jarvis Landry has done nothing but produce for Miami in four seasons.

Last season, Landry had 112 receptions for 987 yards and 9 TD’s. In other words, Landry had his most productive season as a Dolphin, with Jay Cutler and Matt Moore as his quarterbacks.

People might argue it was not his most productive season because he did not eclipse 1,000 yards and he only averaged 8.8 yards per catch. However, Landry produced 60 first downs for Miami which is the most of his career since 2015 when he also had 60.

The 60 first downs were the fourth most among AFC wide receivers and the 7th most in the entire league, per @MattyInfante of The Phinsider.

The one knack about Landry going into the 2017-2018 season was he does not score enough touchdowns. Before the season, he hadn’t caught more than five touchdowns in one year.

He made Dolphins fans forget about that this year by catching nine TD’s. His nine touchdowns were all in the red zone as well, which was the most in the NFL and ranked T-4th in the league in total TD’s.

The reason I bring up first downs and touchdowns is because that is what matters on offense. First downs keep drives alive. Touchdowns put the most points possible on the scoreboard. End of story.

Jarvis Landry was in the top seven in both of those categories in 2017.

But, just to please the people who think ‘yards per catch’ is an important statistic, here’s this:

Landry ranked in the top 10 in ‘yards per touch’ in 2014 (5th), 2015 (9th) and 2016 (5th). In my opinion, that is a more telling stat because ‘yards per touch’ includes runs and special teams returns, not just receptions.

Landry has been such a dangerous and reliable weapon for Miami that they find ways to put the ball in his hands in every situation, not just catching out of the slot.

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What makes this even more impressive is for his career, Landry’s 400 receptions in his first four seasons is the most in NFL history by a long shot. Anquan Boldin had the second most with 342 receptions in his first four years.

Therefore, Landry had the ball in his hands more than any other player in NFL history over his first four seasons, and still ranked in the top 10 in yards/touch in three of his four seasons.

The only season he did not reach the top 10, he caught balls from three different quarterbacks, none of which were his starter, Ryan Tannehill.

So the question becomes…

Is all of Landry’s production worthy enough to be paid as a number one receiver?

Let’s take a look at the seven highest paid wide receivers in the NFL, and compare their stats to Jarvis Landry.

1. Antonio Brown: 4 yrs, $68M = $17 million per year from the Steelers

2017 stats: 101 rec, 1533 yds, 9 TD’s

2. DeAndre Hopkins: 5 yrs, $81M = $16.2 million per year from the Texans

2017 stats: 96 rec, 1378 yds, 13 TD’s

3. AJ Green: 4 yrs, $60M = $15 million per year from the Bengals

2017 stats: 75 rec, 1078 yds, 8 TD’s

4. Davante Adams: 4 yrs, $58M = $14.4 million per year from the Packers

2017 stats: 74 rec, 885 yds, 10 TD’s

5. Julio Jones: 5 yrs, $71M = $14.25 million per year from the Packers

2017 stats: 88 rec, 1,444 yds, 3 TD’s

6. Demaryius Thomas: 5 yrs, $70M = $14 million per year from the Broncos

2017 stats: 83 rec, 949 yds, 5 TD’s

7. Dez Bryant: 5 yrs, $70M = $14 million per year from the Cowboys

2017 stats: 69 rec, 838 yds, 6 TD’s

Jarvis Landry: Contract TBD

2017 stats: 112 rec, 987 yds, 9 TD’s

All seven receivers are the number one receiver on their team. Every single one has numbers comparable to Jarvis Landry.

Most importantly, Landry caught more touchdowns than Bryant, Thomas, Jones and Green.

Some will argue that Landry does not deserve to be paid like a number one receiver because he lacks the threat to catch deep balls, but remember, that is not what Landry’s role is in the Dolphins offense. That is what DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills are for.

Every one of those seven receivers except for Antonio Brown is over 6’0 tall. They are built to catch 60 yard touchdown passes in the NFL. They are the deep threat on their team.

Landry stands at 5’11 and he is not the deep threat, yet only Hopkins and Adams caught more touchdowns than him last year.

So the answer is yes, Landry’s production is worthy enough to be paid as a number one receiver, and the numbers prove it.

Is his cocky attitude/fiery personality worth dealing with?

This is the one that drives me crazy. The fact that the Dolphins are thinking about not bring Jarvis Landry back because of his attitude is ridiculous.

Despite everything that Landry has given the Dolphins for four years, Miami might let one of their most productive receivers in team history walk because he “has an attitude”.

Yes, Landry’s on-field personality costs the team 15 yards every now and then. And yes, that can be frustrating. However, that does not just wipe out all the first downs and touchdowns he produced on the field.

Over the last four years, Landry has played with the most passion of any Dolphins player on the roster. He energizes the team and provides a spark to the offense that no one else can.

He shows that passion and has the numbers to back it up as well.

He completely lost his cool one time and that happened to be in the season finale against the Bills, which is horrible timing because that is the incident that everyone has fresh in their heads, including the Dolphins front office.

Let it go people, it was one time with eight minutes left in a game that didn’t matter. Landry had never been ejected before that meaningless week 17 game.

To let go of a future Hall-of-Famer because his emotions get the best of him sometimes would be a huge mistake, and one the Dolphins cannot afford.