Miami Dolphins haven’t begun Jarvis Landry extension talks yet

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry (14), jumps over New York Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts (27), during second half action of their NFL game Sunday November 06, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry  jumps over New York Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

Mobile, Ala. — As Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry was preparing for the Pro Bowl in Orlando on Wednesday afternoon, team management at the Senior Bowl was saying talks for a discussion have yet to begun.

This is not cause for alarm. Yet.

The Dolphins want Landry in the fold for the long-term. They recognize his value to the team. They understand what he means to his teammates and to the fan base, which adores him.

What some agents at the Senior Bowl were predicting about the pending Landry negotiation was interesting.

Complicated. Delicate. Perhaps difficult.

Because of how Landry likely perceives himself — in the same stratosphere as Pro Bowlers A.J. Green ($15 million/year), Julio Jones ($14.2 million), Dez Bryant ($14 million), and Demaryius Thomas ($14 million).

The club may view a fair deal for Landry more in the range of Pro Bowler Doug Baldwin ($11.5 million).

The web site spotrac.com calculates Landry’s market value at $12.5 million/year, suggesting fairly comparable players as Baldwin, T.Y. Hilton ($13 million), Keenan Allen ($11.25 million) and Marvin Jones ($8 million).

Perhaps $12 million a year will be the eventual landing spot on a deal both player and club would like done.

As for why discussions with Landry’s representative have not yet occurred, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said Wednesday: “Again, just making sure we evaluate our roster right and then we’ll worry about the guys right now with the immediate free agents and then we’ll start working towards the guys that are still under contract.”

Miami is going to work to secure deals for unrestricted free agent wide receiver Kenny Stills and defensive end Andre Branch first. Both players were key contributors in 2016, but there is a delicate balance.

Recognizing the importance of keeping your own. But not over-extending to do so.

“We want to keep our own,” Dolphins executive Mike Tannenbaum said. “We’re never going to bat 1,000. The system just is not set up for it. We’ve been able to extend some players before I started – some like Mike Pouncey or Ryan Tannehill we were able to do – but candidly, you can’t keep them all. We understand that and acknowledge that. We’ve studied it hard and we try to come up with offers that are fair, but knowing that – as Chris (Grier) just said – these guys earned the right (to be free agents) and some are going to do extremely well in free agency and we totally understand that…”

Recently on Instagram, Landry created a post that included the phrase “I feed my family with this don’t play with my money this year I’m serious..”

I feed my family with this don't play with my money this year I'm serious..

A post shared by Jarvis Landry (@juice_landry) on

While it is true that those are lyrics from a Drake song Landry may have perhaps been coincidentally listening to, some understandably interpreted it as a crytic message to both club and fans.

Of course Landry wants a long-term deal.

Part of what makes Landry great is how he views himself. Landry was agitated to be ranked as the league’s 98th-best player in a player poll conducted by NFL Network before last season.

Landry likely doesn’t want to hear about how he’s 5-foot-11, mostly plays in the slot and has averaged four touchdowns in his first three NFL seasons.

What those who watch him more closely point out is that his intangibles make him worth more than even the incredible 288 catches he’s had in those three seasons.

Relentlessness. Passion. Dogged determination.

Whenever called upon, also a willing game-breaking punt returner.

Landry sets the tone for the entire offense, something coach Adam Gase has recognized.

There is no cause for concern yet, because, frankly, Landry is a priority, whether talks have begun yet or not.

“Hopefully if we’re sitting here in August, not only have we kept some of our own but hopefully we’re also talking about two or three meaningful extensions of guys that are prospective free agents heading into 2018 because that’s something that again is going to be really important to us,” Tannenbaum said.

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