Over the past few days there has been conflicting reports on whether or not the Dolphins are looking to trade wide receiver Jarvis Landry. The Dolphins have stated publicly that they have no intention of trading him and according to reports have reassured Landry they aren’t shopping him.
I keep warning you folks that this is LIKELY Jarvis Landry’s last season as a Dolphins player and few of you are taking me seriously.
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) August 27, 2017
However, the team should at least consider trading him. DeVante Parker is expected to take on a bigger role in the offense and the Dolphins probably won’t want to pay Landry the kind of money he will get as a free agent this spring. If the Dolphins are to trade Landry, here are three hypothetical trades they can make.
Trade 1: Landry to the Colts for Phillip Dorsett, 2018 third round pick
Phillip Dorsett has been a disappointment since being drafted in the first round in 2015 by the Colts. Some reports believe Dorsett could be on the roster bubble and I can’t say I’m shocked. While the Colts would be smart trying to improve their offensive line, smart isn’t what Colts do. Instead trading for Landry would be a “name splash” move, something owner Jim Irsay loves. With Landry in Indianapolis, the Colts would give Andrew Luck, when he is healthy, the best receiving core he has ever had.
If the Dolphins feel they are going to lose Landry in free agency this spring, the most they will get in return for him is a potential 2019 third round compensatory pick. Why not instead trade Landry now, get the third round pick a year earlier and also three years of control on Dorsett? A change of scenery might do Dorsett good, especially in Miami where he played college ball. If Dorsett can turn his career around, he could become a cheaper version of Kenny Stills. The Dolphins flip a pending free agent for a guaranteed third round pick and a former first round receiver on his rookie contract; a good value for the Dolphins.
Trade 2: Landry to the 49ers for Jeremy Kerley, 2018 third round pick, Steelers 2018 fourth round pick
After the recent Vance McDonald trade, the 49ers have an extra fourth round pick in the 2018 draft. The 49ers are a team rebuilding and lack young proven players; adding Landry, at age 24, could give them one. Jeremy Kerley is currently the team’s starting slot receiver, but Landry would be a drastic upgrade. Landry could get the long-term deal he is seeking as the 49ers have more cap space available than any other team in the NFL.
Kerley would give the Dolphins a replacement slot receiver for Landry while also not tying up the team’s cap space long-term. The team can release Kerley after the season for only $1.13 million cap hit or keep him as his 2018 cap number is only $2.87 million. The Dolphins could add a veteran slot player while netting themselves two draft picks. This move would allow the Dolphins to feature Parker more in the offense while still having a proven slot receiver.
Jarvis Landry is the perfect Patriots receiver not named “Julian Edelman.” That guy is nails, versatile. Get it done. — NewEnglandSBLII (@NewEnglandSBLI) August 27, 2017
Trade 3: Landry to the Patriots for Cyrus Jones, 2018 second round pick
With the Julian Edelman injury, who better to replace the 31 year old slot receiver than Landry. Before Dolphin fans bring an angry mob to my front door, the Dolphins did trade Wes Welker to the Patriots back in 2007. The Dolphins traded the third year receiver to the Patriots for a 2007 second and seventh round picks. Edelman will be 32 years old entering the 2018 season and coming off his second major injury in three years.
If the Patriots trade for Landry and decide to part ways with Edelman after the 2017 season, the team can release him with only a $2 million cap hit. The team may decide flipping a second round pick and a roster bubble player for the best slot receiver in the league is a good value both this season and in the long-term.
While trading Landry in the division will hurt, it also offers the best return value for the Dolphins. The Patriots will be more willing to part with a second round pick than any other team because the Patriots value slot receivers more than any other team in the league, combined with the Edelman injury. The Dolphins add a former second round pick, cornerback Cyrus Jones, who needs a change of scenery and could take over as the team’s starting slot cornerback. While trading Landry to a division rival isn’t ideal, if they offer the best package, it’s just good business to make that trade.
My guess is the Dolphins are considering trading Landry if the price is right. The team has to make a decision if they’re going to give Landry the long-term deal he wants. If they aren’t, then it is best they trade him for assets that can help the team this year and in the future. Landry is the best slot receiver in the NFL but he isn’t an elite receiver and won’t get paid like one, especially from the Dolphins. I wouldn’t be shocked either way if Landry is traded or spends the year in Miami, but if I was the team, I would trade him for the right price.