In a response that will do little to end speculation about how the two sides parted, Jarvis Landry brushed aside a question regarding his relationship with coach Adam Gase when the Dolphins decided to trade him to the Cleveland Browns.
Landry, who was dealt to Cleveland for two draft picks and salary cap relief, was asked about it during his introductory news conference in Cleveland on Thursday.
“Did you butt heads a little bit with Adam Gase, or what was going on with you and him down there?” Landry was asked.
“No, ma’am,” Landry said before shifting to an answer that quarterback Tyrod Taylor, sitting next to him, had given to an earlier question on his departure from the Buffalo Bills.
“To piggyback off of Tyrod again, it felt like a different direction is where they wanted to head with the team,” Landry said. “I was blessed and fortunate enough to have an opportunity to come play for the Cleveland Browns and I’m excited about that.”
Although Landry made numerous references in his news conference to how excited he was to be joining the Browns, who were 0-16 last season, speculation at least in South Florida is bound to continue regarding his departure. Landry had enjoyed what both sides insisted was a strong relationship with Gase, at least until recently. The fact that the Dolphins agreed to trade a former team MVP is evidence something changed. So is a tweet Landry sent Wednesday.
“MIAMI THANK YOU,” Landry wrote. “THE FANS, My TEAMMATES.. FOR THE EXPERIENCE THESE PAST 4 YEARS. I CANT TELL YOU WHAT IT HAS MEANT TO ME AND MY FAMILY. FOREVER GRATEFUL TO MR. ROSS, MR. HICKEY, AND PHIL McGeoghan FOR BELIEVING IN ME. IM EXTREMELY EXCITED FOR THE NEXT CHAPTER OF MY CAREER.”
Note that Landry thanked Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, former general manager Dennis Hickey (who drafted him in the second round in 2014) and former Dolphins receivers coach Phil McGeoghan, yet he made no mention of Gase or football operations head Mike Tannenbaum.
By the end of his Browns news conference, Landry could sense skepticism that he is truly happy to be with a team starting from the depths of the NFL.
“I keep talking about it,” Landry said. “I think when I say it, not too many believe me. Even looking out, I still don’t think too many people believe me, but I’m very excited about the opportunity that’s in front of us, about the guys in this building, about the city of Cleveland, and I’m looking forward to it.”
For now, Landry will be playing under the $16 million franchise tag, although it’s expected that both sides will attempt to negotiate a multiyear deal.
“My agent, he’s handling that type of stuff behind closed doors,” Landry said when asked if he’s willing to play a season under the tag rather than a long-term contract.
There are Dolphins fans who said there was no point in paying a slot receiver that kind of money, even one with 100 receptions and 1,000 yards.
“I’m real versatile,” Landry said. “I’m an extremely confident guy, believing that I can play in the slot or I can play outside. It really doesn’t matter. I think that there’s also room for improvement, room for growth.”
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