As most of you have surely heard by now, Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post is reporting that sources close to the Dolphins/Landry negotiations are telling him that the two sides are currently at an impasse, with Landry asking for somewhere in the neighborhood of $14 million per year, a price Miami is not willing to pay. While Schad has made no mention of what the Dolphins are offering as a counter, it is safe to say that Landry’s market value can be estimated at somewhere around $11.5 million per year, which is what Doug Baldwin recently signed for with Seattle.
For the moment, this isn’t much of a standoff, as it is the Dolphins that hold most of the cards, and as such, are in a very good position to call Landry’s bluff. If you doubt this to be true, simply consider the following five reasons why Landry would be foolish to turn away a four-year offer at $11.5 million per year.
- Injury – If Landry’s top priority is securing his long term future, making sure he has a large sum of guaranteed money secured prior to the start of the 2017 season is crucial. After all, football is an extremely violent sport that can end even the most promising of careers in the blink of an eye.
- Avoid the Franchise Tag – Essentially, there are two huge reasons to avoid this scenario.
- The only way Landry gets Franchised is if he play out his current contract. That would mean that, even if he is franchised for somewhere in the neighborhood of $18 million, he will only earn $19.1 million over the next two years, as opposed to signing at the previously stated $11.5 million, which would earn him $23 million over the next two years.
- Landry would be exposing himself to injury over two seasons (2017 & 2018) before being able to secure his long-term nest egg.
- Free Agency doesn’t add up – If Landry leaves Miami in free agency prior to the 2018 season because he is offered the $14 million he is seeking, he will earn less money over the next 4 years than if he stays with Miami. Here is why:
- Scenario #1 – He plays out this year at $1.1 million, then signs for $14 million elsewhere. Over four years, that equals $43.1 million, and if he lands anywhere but Tampa or Jacksonville, he will need to subtract state taxes from that.
- Scenario #2 – He signs with the Dolphins for $11.5 million per season. That is $46 million over the next four years, and there are no state taxes to worry about.
- The two teams with the most cap space available are the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers. That is important because any team that trades for Landry will need to re-sign him after just one year or secure him with the Franchise Tag.
- The Browns and 49ers are also in the best position draft-wise to make a trade that would interest Miami. Cleveland has 11 picks in the upcoming draft, while the 49ers have 10 picks.
- Given this information, the Browns would be the most likely landing spot for Landry. After all, they have the most cap space, and their available draft choices are better than San Francisco’s. The Browns have two picks in the first round, two in the second, one in the 3rd, one in the 4th, three in the 5th, and two in the 6th.
- Thus, the Browns could easily trade a 2nd and 3rd pick for one an elite Pro Bowl receiver and still be left with 3 picks in the first two rounds, including 2 #1s. Miami would end up with a total of 9 draft choices, including a #1, two #2s and a #3 (which they currently don’t have).
- The Dolphins could also trade for a #2 and two #5s. That would mean Miami would acquire three players, who could, in turn, provide the Dolphins with 12 seasons worth of play over the next four years for less money than it would cost to extend Landry for just one season. By any measure, that would be one hell of a savings.
- Landry, on the other hand, would be left to play out the prime of his career in lowly Cleveland.
Thus, it is safe to say that Landry would be wise to abandon any notion of a $14 million pay day with Miami and sign for market value…….securing his family’s future for life.