The writing could be on the wall for Jarvis Landry. The star Miami Dolphins wide receiver has long been asking for a big contract and with the 25-year old set to enter free agency, he’s destined to get it.
The possibility still exists that the Dolphins will tag him in some fashion and sort out a long-term agreement at a later date, but one thing’s for sure; Landry isn’t staying in South Beach on the cheap.
Jarvis Landry’s reluctance to give Miami a hometown discount could give way to his departure, especially since he and the Dolphins had a down year in some regards and he’ll be looking to land elite-wide receiver money. It’s still possible he stays in town, but several teams could use a reliable go-to wide receiver and Landry fits the bill.
Many will point to his terrible yards per catch average, but that’s just as much on Miami for how they utilize their top receiver as it is on his actual talent. Needless to say, Landry won’t have a shortage of suitors if Miami allows him to test the market. But based on need and financials, these following 5 teams would make the most sense to make a play for him during the 2018 NFL Free Agency period:
San Francisco 49ers
The Niners are first going to need to retain Jimmy Garoppolo, but if that’s going to happen, he may request they make a splash at wide receiver first. Regardless of order, the Niners are starting for serious wide receiver talent, as they have Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin and little else.
Garcon is aging and Goodwin is best utilized as a deep threat. With a ton of cap space to work with, Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch should be eyeing a few big moves outside of their second go-around in the NFL Draft. Bringing in a guy like Landry who knows how to get open and move the chains would be a wise move.
The real point here is San Francisco simply isn’t loaded with weapons in the passing game. Getting Landry wouldn’t be cheap, but it’d give Jimmy G a true #1 target, which he honestly lacks at the moment.
With Andrew Luck (hopefully) returning to full strength in 2018, the Colts are a sneaky sleeper for a big turn around next season. If they really want to make that happen, though, they should probably make sure their franchise passer has the weapons to work his magic
T.Y. Hilton is still a deep threat that is quite useful, but Donte Moncrief has had difficulty staying healthy and Indy has little else behind him on the roster. Swinging big for a reliable possession guy like Landry could take some pressure off of Hilton and give Luck that third receiver he needs to tear up defenses.
Landry would cost a pretty penny, but he’s one of the most reliable pass-catchers on the open market this year and would give the Colts an upgrade at the #2 spot. Indy is one of the few franchises that has the money to burn and probably needs to add a wide receiver or two yet.
Another AFC South option could be the Titans, who seem to be trending in the right direction after making the playoffs and ousting the Chiefs during the wild card round. Tennessee has a bright young passer in Marcus Mariota and a promising rushing attack, but the passing game options are limited.
Corey Davis may have a bright future, but Rishard Matthews isn’t an elite talent and is a free agent in 2019. Eric Decker and Harry Douglas are both on the way out this offseason, too, so the Titans could be in need of wide receiver help in a hurry.
Tennessee could opt to bring those guys back on the cheap or target the position in the draft, but adding a proven commodity like Landry could make more sense. Landry could be the possession talent Decker was supposed to be, while he could join forces with an improved Davis to give Mariota a pretty potent one-two punch.
Tennessee ranks 9th in available salary cap, so it may just come down to how pressing they feel receiver really is for them. Considering Mariota’s sharp statistical regression in 2017, however, it’s absolutely something they need to look at.
New York Jets
If the Dolphins don’t want Jarvis Landry, don’t be shocked for him to jump ship and roll with someone else in the AFC East. Players love to exact revenge on teams that burn them – especially when it comes to trade rumors or not paying them what they feel they deserve.
Buffalo could fit the bill here (see what I did there?), but New York has way more cash to spend. The Jets are still rebuilding, but depending on what they do under center, they could quickly become an attractive free agency destination.
Role and cash would be key here. New York will have some money to spend and right now their best wide receivers are Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse. I’m not saying the Jets absolutely have to make a splash in free agency at the position, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt.
I’m listing the Browns last, simply because they just finished up just the second ever 0-16 season and I highly doubt Landry wants to play there. They also just shed a disaster contract (Kenny Britt) and might be a bit gun shy about jumping right back into bed with a free agent wide receiver.
Regardless, if Cleveland actually wants to win with whoever they draft to be their franchise quarterback, they need to get reliable weapons. Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman are viable deep threats with star potential, but reliable isn’t the word I’d use to describe them.
Gordon could be gone after 2018 and Coleman may never turn into the guy the Browns hope he will. Either way, Landry is something both of those guys aren’t – an elite and reliable possession receiver. Cleveland has long been hurting in the passing game and getting a steady slot weapon could give their lethargic passing game a huge boost.
In the end, Miami would be wise to pay Jarvis Landry what he’s owned. He’s a rock solid possession guy and they probably can’t afford to lose him. I bet he stays, but if he goes, one of the aforementioned five teams would make a lot of sense to be his ultimate destination.