Miami Dolphins make the right move with Jarvis Landry

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 11: Jarvis Landry /

The Miami Dolphins traded away their best offensive player and their best drafted player this past decade, wide receiver Jarvis Landry, and it was the right move.

The Cleveland Browns now have the 2017 league leader in receptions. Good for them.

Within 6 months, the Dolphins managed to trade away their 2nd of only two offensive Pro Bowl players from the last 2 years before the start of the new NFL league year of 2018.

I guess this is the start of the “offensive overhaul” we heard about at the beginning of the 2017 regular season.

What did the Dolphins receive in return for their prized player?

A 4th-rounder in the 2018 draft, and a 7th-rounder in 2019.

Neither seem like much at first glance.

But it’s important to understand whichever team inherited Jarvis Landry in a trade would also inherit the $16 million franchise tag contract he signed. This was something an NFL club would not be too thrilled about. So although a team like Cleveland may have about a billion dollars worth in cap space, the compensation the Browns would be willing to give up to inherit said contract would be significantly lower than that of the reported “league rule” of two 1st round picks.

The 4th-rounder?

Some fans may laugh or cry, but we should remember that we learned 4th round picks carry a lot of value. Just days ago, the Dolphins packaged their 4th-rounder from the Jay Ajayi trade to acquire Rams defensive end Robert Quinn. Fans should also consider this upcoming 2018 draft is loaded with prototypical slot receivers that can be found in the mid-rounds.

I would assume the Dolphins will target a receiver in this draft to replace Landry. Jakeem Grant is improving, but Gase thinks he can only handle a certain workload. Leonte Carroo is… well… he’s still coming along.

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The 7th-rounder in 2019?

I guess the Dolphins could package that into a future deal to make something happen. Maybe?

Personally, I’m not too high on 7th-rounders. Especially considering in recent Dolphins history, those selections don’t make the 53-man roster or if they do, they do not become starters. Perhaps, the Dolphins felt they didn’t have time to dilly-dally 5 days before free agency and decided to accept the deal?

In the end, it’s disappointing the Dolphins had to rid themselves of a fan favorite, a tone-setter, a physical pro bowler, and an inspirational piece of their squad. Landry put fans in the stands and was a big part of moving the ball on offense these past 4 years. He’s a heck of a player and the caliber of player any coach would love to have on their team.

However, every NFL organization has the responsibility do what is best for the team and for the team’s future. And making Jarvis Landry one of the highest-paid WR’s in 2018 was not the responsible decision.

Landry is seen league-wide as a slot receiver.  And that’s exactly what he is. Only a slot receiver.

He’s not a game-breaker, big-play guy.

He’s not a player who opposing teams need to double-team to take him out of a game.

He may have been the best receiver on the Dolphins, but he’s not the best wide receiver in the NFL. Not even close. His skills aren’t worth $16 million on the tag, and the Dolphins (along with myself) didn’t feel he was worth the $14 million annually he desired as a 2018 free agent. All those numbers equate to the bigger truly prototypical WR1’s in the league, and Landry is not that.

It’s the cost of doing business.

In this case, the Dolphins made the right move.

It didn’t turn out this way because Landry never wanted to remain a Miami Dolphin, and it’s not because the Dolphins ever disliked Landry. The numbers just didn’t match to what either side felt was the right amount. Although, I get the feeling Landry was never in the Dolphins future plans from the start.

The Dolphins stuck to their guns, and I respect them for that.

They created cap space for their team which has plenty of holes to fill, and they acquired a quality draft pick that has the potential to replace a player they lost. Perhaps not the same caliber of player, but someone who can fill the same role.