ORLANDO — Pro Bowlers come and go, I guess.
I was looking through Miami Dolphins Pro Bowl history and noticed that, yes, Pro Bowlers come and go.
In 2011, Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall made the Pro Bowl.
After the season, Miami shipped him to the Chicago Bears, for two third-round picks.
According to published reports at the time, Marshall’s strong personality was a concern for the Dolphins.
Marshall was a Pro Bowler the next two seasons, but representing the NFC.
In 2012, Dolphins guard Richie Ingognito made the Pro Bowl (and earned the team’s Good Guy Award).
But the next season, he was suspended (and then gone) in the wake of a Jonathan Martin bullying scandal.
Incognito is a recurring Pro Bowler now, but as a Buffalo Bill.
In 2013, Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes made the Pro Bowl.
He would make two more Pro Bowls as a Dolphin, and was even rewarded a long-term contract, before he was cut, after refusing to restructure his contract. I wasn’t covering the Dolphins then, but I’ve heard and read about some concerning “distractions.”
In 2016, Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi made the Pro Bowl.
As we know, he was jettisoned to Philadelphia during the next season (this season) and is preparing to play in a Super Bowl in Minnesota on Sunday.
Sure, Ajayi’s knees were a long-term concern, but really, this was more of a non-football decision, the organization believing they are better off without him and the personality dynamics he presented.
Which brings us to Landry.
Do the Dolphins really believe they are better off without Landry?
Because if it’s just about the difference between say, $13 million a year, and $14 million a year, work it out.
If it’s a bit about that and a bit about wondering if Landry’s potentially combustible personality may not be best for a long-term relationship, in my opinion, it is best to work it out.
Landry wants desperately to stay in Miami. And he should be rewarded. Not just for all those catches. Not just for the fact that he is most popular player on the Miami Dolphins.
But because any headaches he occasionally presents for coaches and or staffers and or his teammates are worth managing. They are worth sorting through. They are work working with.
Because Miami talks about keeping their own and who is more a Dolphin than Landry?
There is a lot of posturing going on, as can be the case during these negotiations. Which is more likely: the Dolphins and Landry miss each other, and regret not extending their relationship — or, in a few years, Miami is praised for their foresight in moving on?
You can guess where I would land in that poll.
Landry is competitive and determined and committed and is a threat, so much of a threat that Bill Belichick of the Patriots, who knows more than any of us, begins and ends his Dolphins game days talking about the importance of stopping Landry.
Landry plays the slot. So what. A weapon is a weapon is a weapon.
And Miami needs to lock up their weapons, not chase them out of town.
Landry is a legitimate Pro Bowler. He’s been a Pro Bowler three times and he’s just turned 25 years old.
There are 32 NFL teams, and about 64 NFL starting wide receivers, and the last time I checked, only one wide receiver — Landry — led the entire league with 112 catches. Nobody. Had. More.
That’s exactly the type of player Miami needs to be paying. And no offense to Jay Cutler, Julius Thomas, Andre Branch, Lawrence Timmons, Ted Larsen, T.J. McDonald, Nate Allen, or anyone else who’s recently cashed a check from the Miami Dolphins, but Landry deserves his big check.
Why wouldn’t he?
We don’t think Landry is going to end up requiring an Antonio Brown-type contract ($17 million a season) or A.J. Green-type contract ($15 million a season).
But it seems to us that in comparing Landry’s potential deal to T.Y. Hilton ($13 million a season, and signed in 2015), Landry deserves a bit more. The salary cap is increasing. Time has passed.
There would seem to be little reason that sweet spot of $13.5-$14 million a season can’t feel right for all involved.
All these numbers give me a headache.
Landry hauled in a 49-yard pass from Alex Smith in the first half of Sunday’s Pro Bowl, proving, I guess, that yes, he can haul in deep passes. If Alex Smith can make that pass, Ryan Tannehill sure can next year.
Pro Bowlers come and go, I guess.
But I was looking at the list of Miami Dolphins Pro Bowlers and it seems to me, Landry doesn’t really belong on a list with Brandon Marshall, Richie Incognito, Brent Grimes and Jay Ajayi.
Jarvis Landry belongs on a list with Dolphins Pro Bowlers like Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas.
He’s a Dolphin today. He should be a Dolphin next season, and at least three seasons after that.