2018 NFL Free Agents: Where is Jarvis Landry headed?

Jarvis Landry is clearly headed elsewhere. But where? (AP)

INDIANAPOLIS — Jarvis Landry wants a long-term contract, of course, and all parties seem to realize at this point that it’s just not going to happen with the Miami Dolphins.

That will certainly disappoint Landry, who wanted all along, to stay with the team that drafted him.

But money can help ease the pain.

There are plenty of NFL teams with the money to pay Landry and an appreciation of his unique skill set.

Here at the NFL Scouting Combine, Miami’s decision to tag-and-try-to-trade Landry has been one of the hot topics.

Some executives have wondered how interested Miami really was in getting a long-term deal done. Some have also said that tag-and-trades happen so rarely in the NFL because teams just aren’t willing to give up much anything of value for a player they’ll then have to pay as if he were a top unrestricted free agent.

But there is hope. And a bit of time. Surely all involved want this resolved before the start of NFL free agency on March 14.

Landry has intended to sign his $16 million franchise tag as early as Monday. But that, of course, is subject to change.

Does signing the tag give him further leverage? Would it be best to wait and see if the Dolphins actually release him from that tag?

The Dolphins have not intended to release Landry from that tag, in part because losing Landry would not be likely to help them much, if at all, in the NFL’s complex compensatory draft pick formula. But that intention, of course, is subject to change.

The Dolphins have set up a trade for defensive end Robert Quinn. And the franchise currently possesses the least salary cap space in the league.

Yes, there are moves that will create some flexibility. We expect Lawrence Timmons and Julius Thomas to officially go soon, and perhaps Ja’Wuan James, too. And a few restructures could help.

But maybe Miami at some point does actually decide to just move on.

If you’re Jarvis Landry, playing for Cleveland may not sound appealing on the surface.

But Landry has some familiarity with Browns coaches and players. And he knows they are positioned to head in the right direction.

And boy, can they pay.

What if Cleveland was able to offer a deal worth more than $16 million a season over four or five years?

That would surely ease some of the pain of the separation from South Florida.

According to folks in Indianapolis, these four teams should be among those in play:

• Cleveland — $100 million in cap space

• San Francisco — $65 million in cap space

• Baltimore — $8 million in cap space

• Chicago — $80 million in cap space

If I was Landry, living in California, playing for Kyle Shanahan and catching passes from Jimmy Garoppolo would be a nice arrangement.

Landry also has a healthy respect for the Ravens franchise and many of their players.

In a very well-produced Lukas Korver “Park Stories” film about Landry released on Saturday morning, Landry explains that yes, he wants a long-term contract, as opposed to playing on the one-year franchise tag, even if it is for $16 million.

“To have an opportunity to take care of my family,” Landry said. “To change life for my family, is the reason why we all do what we do. I’ve played four years of my contract and now I’ve put myself in a position to take care of my family for the rest of my life.”

Landry notes has has a daughter. Landry notes he could sustain a career-ending injury at any time.

“The franchise tag is not a good deal for me,” Landry said. “Look at a guy like Ryan Shazier, who may not play again. He’s fighting a battle to just walk again. I’ve sacrificed my time, my body and my life, to make sure that I have this opportunity.”

It seems clear that change is on the horizon.

Landry noted: “Pain comes before glory.”

Sometimes change is good. That big pay day on the horizon?

That should help, too.

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