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Dolphins tag Jarvis Landry in surprise move

The Miami Dolphins were the first team to officially place a franchise tag this offseason. In a surprise move, they used it on star wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Landry finished out his rookie contract this season. He led the league in receptions with 112, although he amassed just 987 yards on those catches.

Landry, 25, was expected to be the top available wide receiver and would have cashed in on the open market. Instead, the former LSU star is now looking at a one-year, $16 million deal under the tag. As for the Dolphins, they are stuck with that cap hit. That is unless they sign Landry to a long-term contract or rescind the tag.

If Landry plays out the year on the tag, the Dolphins will go from having an approximated $8.2 million in cap space to being $7.8 million over the threshold. Miami will have until the start of the new league year — March 14 at 4 p.m. ET — to get under the cap.

Frankly, the tagging of Landry makes little sense. While he is a terrific player, he’s certainly not prolific. His career high for a single season is 1,157 yards, totaling that back in 2015. With 22 touchdowns in four seasons, Landry is not a high-profile target in the red zone either.


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Additionally, the Dolphins already have a pair of quality receivers. DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills are adept at making big plays downfield. In his third professional season, Parker had 57 catches for 670 yards, while Stills hauled in 58 passes for 847 yards and six scores. While Landry might be the best of the three, his cap hit isn’t justified by his production, while Stills and Parker are both financially in line with their play.

By holding onto Jarvis Landry via the tag, Miami will have to do some work to get under the cap. The easy decisions involve Julius Thomas and Stephen Anthony, who will save them $8 million with their releases. Still, the Dolphins have to create room for their draft class and any other free agents they will want to sign, whether from outside or within. Miami can save $9.3 million by cutting former first-round pick Ja’Wuan James, and another $5.4 million by parting with Lawrence Timmons, who was signed last offseason. Bobby McCain can also be jettisoned for a small savings of $1.9 million.

Point being, the cap crunch wouldn’t exist without Landry. Even if all of those moves are made, the Dolphins can’t upgrade their roster in any real way, leaving them to play second — or third — fiddle in the AFC East.

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