No lie: A.J. Duhe’s honesty led to ’83 Super Bowl, Miami Dolphins drafting Dan Marino

A.J. Duhe returns one of his three interceptions for a touchdown to beat the Jets in the 1982 AFC title game. (Palm Beach Post file photo by Alan Zlotky)

DAVIE — A.J. Duhe could not tell a lie, and it’s because of his honesty that he ended up a Miami Dolphin.

And because of that, the Dolphins reached the 1983 Super Bowl.

And because of that, they ended up in position to land Dan Marino.

There’s a decent chance some — all? — of those fortunate occurrences would not have befallen the Dolphins had Duhe not been so forthcoming when he was entering the league.

Duhe shared his intriguing draft tale Thursday during a ceremony the Dolphins held with five other retired players who signed one-day contracts so each could formally retire as a Dolphin.

Duhe was a highly regarded defensive end/linebacker coming out of LSU in 1977. Once considered second-round talent, as the draft neared, he climbed into the first-round pool.

Problem was, Duhe hired Howard Slusher as his agent. Slusher managed to get handsome contracts, but it made him an outcast with general managers in an era rocked by rookie holdouts.

“Howard Slusher’s not an agent, he’s a terrorist,” George Young, the former Giants and Dolphins GM, once said.

“Do not tell anyone I’m representing you,” Slusher told Duhe.

The morning of the draft, Duhe received a call.

“It was the Buffalo Bills,” Duhe said. “They were picking No. 12. They said, ‘We’ve heard Howard Slusher may be your agent.’ God told me to say it: ‘Yes, he will be my agent.’ They said, ‘We’ll be back in touch.’ ”

Hanging up the phone, Duhe announced to his roommates, “I think I’m going to F’in Buffalo.”

Minutes later, the phone rang, only this time, it was Bobby Beathard, the Dolphins’ GM and who’s headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year.

“We just selected you as the No. 1 draft pick for the Miami Dolphins,” Beathard said.

“Man, you don’t know how good that felt,” Duhe said Thursday. “That was probably one of the greatest moments of my life.”

Duhe became one of the Dolphins’ all-time playmakers on defense and captured the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. He turned in one of the greatest single-game performances in team history, intercepting three passes (returning one for a touchdown) in the 1982-83 AFC championship game, a muddy 14-0 win over the Jets.

“Obviously the biggest moment of my playing career,” Duhe said.

The Dolphins went on to lose to Washington 27-17 in the Super Bowl, which meant they picked 27th in the 1983 draft.

You know the rest.

Maybe, if Duhe had fibbed and said he hadn’t settled on an agent, the Bills would have taken him.

Maybe, without Duhe, the Dolphins wouldn’t have been good enough to reach that Super Bowl.

Maybe they would have drafted higher, and been among the 26 other teams too petrified by rumors about Marino to risk spending a high first-round pick on him.

In listing his career highlights, Duhe mentioned when he was drafted, the Jets game … and the 1983 Draft, which he heard on the radio.

“I’m all by myself in the car, listening to IOD,” Duhe said of WIOD, the team’s flagship station. “I’m going, ‘We may get Dan Marino!’ And sure enough, we got The Man.”

2018 NFL Draft: Who can Miami get with the Landry/Ajayi picks?

Miami Dolphins likely to pick up DeVante Parker’s fifth-year option

ANALYSIS: What Miami Dolphins think of this NFL draft class

Marjory Stoneman Douglas to announce Miami Dolphins draft picks

How much does Miami Dolphins RB Frank Gore have left?

[A look inside the Dolphins’ process for making draft picks and who makes the final call]

[What the Dolphins think of skill players in this year’s NFL Draft]

[Frank Gore’s on a mission with Miami Dolphins]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook.

2018 Miami Dolphins schedule is officially announced

Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake sacks Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

The Miami Dolphins will open the 2018 season, at home, against the Tennessee Titans, and wrap up the season on the road, at Buffalo.

Here’s how it all lays out:

Week 1: vs. Tennessee Titans — Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1 p.m.  

Week 2: at New York Jets — Sunday, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m.

Week 3: vs. Oakland Raiders — Sunday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m.

Week 4: at New England Patriots — Sunday, Sept. 30 at 1 p.m.

Week 5: at Cincinnati Bengals — Sunday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m.

Week 6: vs. Chicago Bears — Sunday, Oct. 14 at 1 p.m.

Week 7: vs. Detroit Lions —Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m.

Week 8: at Houston Texans  — Thursday, Oct. 25 at 8:20 p.m.

Week 9: vs. New York Jets — Sunday, Nov. 4 at 1 p.m.

Week 10: at Green Bay Packers — Sunday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m.

Week 11: Bye Week 

Week 12: at Indianapolis Colts — Sunday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m.

Week 13: vs. Buffalo Bills —Sunday, Dec. 2 at 1 p.m.

Week 14: vs. New England Patriots — Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m.

Week 15: at Minnesota Vikings — Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m.

Week 16: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars —Sat. or Sun. Dec. 22 or 23 at TBD

Week 17: at Buffalo Bills —Sunday Dec. 30 at 1 p.m.

2018 NFL Draft: Who can Miami get with the Landry/Ajayi picks?

Miami Dolphins likely to pick up DeVante Parker’s fifth-year option

What Miami Dolphins think of this NFL draft class

Marjory Stoneman Douglas to announce Miami Dolphins draft picks

How much does Miami Dolphins RB Frank Gore have left to offer?

Danny Amendola says Miami Dolphins must ’embrace the grind’

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Miami Dolphins’ one-day contracts trigger emotions, aren’t purely just for show

Dolphins vice president Nat Moore, center, is flanked by Dolphins for one more day. From left: punter Brandon Fields, defensive tackle Paul Soliai, end/linebacker A.J. Duhe, defensive end Jeff Cross, offensive tackle Vernon Carey and receiver Chris Chambers. (Hal Habib / The Palm Beach Post)

DAVIE — A big-play receiver, a solid blocker, two disruptive edge defenders, a run stopper and a Pro Bowl punter were added to the Dolphins’ roster on Thursday, all without making a dent in the salary cap, no less.

Alas, it was ceremonial, because the contracts of those six Dolphins expire Friday, the purpose of the exercise being just so they could say they retired as Miami Dolphins.

But here’s the twist: Defensive tackle Paul Soliai became so emotional he couldn’t get through one sentence of his acceptance speech before breaking down, which says more than words could say about how much it meant to them that the organization still holds them in such high regard to stage this second annual alumni ceremony.

Nat Moore, a Dolphins vice president, says it’s about “giving these guys a chance to leave under their terms. They get a chance to sign a contract and then retire — not being cut, but a chance to say, ‘I was a Dolphin.’ ”

Honored along with Soliai were receiver Chris Chambers, offensive tackle Vernon Carey, end Jeff Cross, end/linebacker A.J. Duhe and punter Brandon Fields. 

It may sound like a technicality, but even players who spend their entire careers with the Dolphins do not automatically “retire as a Dolphin.” Most eventually get released by the club and dangle out forevermore as unceremonious free-agent castoffs. To give them their due, teams can sign players to one-day contracts, then have the players file paperwork with the NFL allowing their team to place them on the reserve/retired list.

The Dolphins even printed up rosters as of April 18 listing the newcomers. Think Adam Gase would find it satisfactory to look over his list of defensive linemen and see names like Wake, Quinn and Godchaux next to Duhe, Soliai and Cross? Soliai certainly liked it.

“I’m an island boy,” said Soliai, a fourth-round pick and a Dolphin from 2007-13. “Growing up where I came from, from Samoa, I never thought I’d be here. This organization believed in me and drafted me. I did everything I did (in my career) when I was here. I might be a big dude but I’m really humble and just a very emotional guy.”

Placing his hand on Soliai’s shoulder, Duhe said if he were honored the way Soliai was, so soon after his career ended, “I probably would have cried my heart out, too.”

In Duhe’s case, maybe it’s just as well that 34 years have passed since he last suited up.

“I was a little bitter after leaving the organization,” Duhe said. “I don’t know how many of you guys here know my story but it was not a good ending and I was bitter for awhile. But you grow past that, sweep it under the carpet and just go on with your life and enjoy everything you’ve had and reflect on how meaningful it was to be part of this organization. It’s heartwarming.”

For Cross, no bridges needed mending.

“I consider myself a lifelong Miami Dolphin, a card-carrying Miami Dolphin,” he said. “I always will be.”

You can never have too many talented defensive linemen.

Take a look at the Dolphins’ uniforms for the 2018 season

Dolphins likely to pick up fifth-year option for DeVante Parker

Gore wants to prove himself, then be more of a leader on the Dolphins

Here’s what Danny Amendola said about his time in New England

Pouncey says release from Dolphins will add fuel to his fire

Dolphins add veteran tight end Gavin Escobar

Davon Godchaux knows spotlight will be on him with Ndamukong Suh gone

What is RB Kenyan Drake’s reaction to signing of Frank Gore?

Ex-Dolphins cheerleader alleges religious discrimination

 

What Danny Amendola said about New England Patriots on Tuesday

Danny Amendola is on to Miami. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

DAVIE — Danny Amendola recently told ESPN there were a lot of things he didn’t like about playing for Bill Belichick in New England.

Amendola didn’t seem in a mood to expound upon those comments in his Dolphins introduction on Tuesday.

“I am just focused on the Miami Dolphins and trying to get better every day here, in OTA’s,” Amendola said. “And focused on forming a bond with my teammates here. And really focused on the future.”

Another thing Amendola mentioned recently was that after taking pay cuts three times to stay in New England, he thought the Patriots would make a competitive offer to keep him this time.

Instead, New England did not come close, Amendola said, to the 2-year, $12 million deal he got from Miami.

“I’m excited,” Amendola said. “I’m excited to get out there and play football. That’s what I like to focus on. And obviously there is a business aspect to this game. And sometimes it works out for you and sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve been on both ends. And I try to keep it consistent with trying to play good football and be there for my teammates.”

We’ll see if signing with Miami works out for the player and the club.

Is there anything awkward for Amendola about moving from New England to one of its greatest rivals?

“No,” he said. “I love these colors. So I’m excited to be wearing them. And excited to be a part of this group.”

Did facing New England twice play a role in his decision to choose Miami?

“Umm – not really,” Amendola said. “I wanted to go play for a good coach and a good team in a good city. And here I am.”

While not saying much more about Belichick, Amendola did compliment Miami coach Adam Gase.

“He’s a great coach,” Amendola said. “Obviously he’s been in the league for a long time. He’s been doing some great things. Just being here for a few days I can tell that these guys really respond to him. And they play hard for him.”

Denver Broncos releasing C.J. Anderson, an obvious Dolphins targe

Miami Dolphins’ humble giant Jesse Davis says he was ‘not very good’ in ’17

Miami Dolphins RB Kenyan Drake reacts to Frank Gore signing

Why Miami Dolphins RB Kenyan Drake has added weight

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10 Best Miami Dolphins NFL Draft picks of last 10 years

Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones celebrates an interception he made in the end zone at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

General manager Chris Grier has led the last two Miami Dolphins NFL Draft war rooms, but he’s also played a key role as former director of college scouting, a role he held from 2007-2015.

Grier knows Miami must strike with the 11th overall pick on the first day of the NFL Draft, which is only two weeks from Thursday.

Some of the players Miami has drafted in that time frame have done just OK considering their draft status (Ryan Tannehill, Ja’Wuan James and Vontae Davis) and some have been total Miami busts (Dion Jordan, Jonathan Martin). Others are too incomplete to go either way on this list (Charles Harris, Xavien Howard, Laremy Tunsil, DeVante Parker, Kenyan Drake).

So lets take a closer look at the best choices Miami has made in the last 10 drafts:

  1. Reshad Jones, DB, Georgia, 5th Round, 163rd overall, 2010
  2. Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State, 5th Round, 149th overall, 2015
  3. Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU, 2nd Round, 63rd overall, 2014
  4. Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami, 3rd Round, 72nd overall, 2011
  5. Rishard Matthews, WR, Nevada, 7th Round, 227th overall, 2012
  6. Jake Long, OT, Michigan, 1st Round, 1st overall, 2008
  7. Mike Pouncey, C, Florida, 1st Round, 15th overall, 2011
  8. Charles Clay, TE Tulsa, 6th Round, 174th overall, 2011
  9. Lamar Miller, RB, Miami, 4th Round, 97th overall, 2012
  10. Davon Godchaux, DT, LSU,  5th Round, 178th overall, 2017

2018 NFL Draft: Is Luke Falk the most realistic Miami Dolphins QB option?

2018 NFL Draft: WR Tre’Quan Smith of UCF and Delray Beach improves stock

Can Miami Dolphins DE’s Robert Quinn and Cam Wake force 8 QB fumbles in ’18?

Miami Dolphins: Robert Quinn explains why he protests during anthem

Adam Gase: Miami Dolphins have serious plan to teach, study and learn better

Miami Dolphins: Will Robert Quinn have a greater impact than Ndamukong Suh?

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Can Miami Dolphins DE’s Robert Quinn and Cam Wake force 8 QB fumbles in ’18?

Robert Quinn of the Los Angeles Rams runs with the ball after taking it away from the Dallas Cowboys.(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Since 2012, Miami Dolphins defensive ends Cam Wake and Robert Quinn each have 16 strip-sacks of the quarterback, which is topped by no other player in the NFL during that span.

That means Miami should have fearsome bookend pass rushers, attempting not only to get quarterbacks down this season, but trying to get the ball out of their hands.

Chandler Jones and Ryan Kerrigan have 15 and 13 strip-sacks during that time. Quinn and Wake have each had four or more forced fumbles in a season twice. Is is possible that together they might force eight or more fumbles this season?

“I guess we’re number 1-2 at stripped sacked and forced fumbles,” Quinn said Wednesday. “So if we can do that once a game or twice a game, I think that gives our team a great chance of winning, week in and week out.”

Once or twice a game might be ambitious. But it’s good to have lofty goals.

Quinn prefers to play right defensive end. And Wake prefers left defensive end. And they might very well be Miami’s opening-day starters, with Charles Harris, Andre Branch and William Hayes rotating in.

Quinn and Wake have interacted only once since Quinn came to Miami in a trade. But Quinn expressed respect.

“Always hear about his work ethic, the way he eats, the way he takes care of himself,” Quinn said. “(Wake) earned his stripes. He committed himself. He’s a heck of a Hall of Famer player, whenever he decides. I makes you realize when you have that type of caliber player it makes you want to get back to that level of expectations being great. It’s exciting.”

Quinn is excited to return to his natural defensive end position, after one year at linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever watched the Olympic but I’ve never seen a sprinter run from a two-point stance,” Quinn said. “Honestly, I think if you want to get the best get-off you’re supposed to be in a three-point stance.”

Quinn explained why he tries to takeaway the ball when he closes in on the quarterback.

“Being on the right side, it’s usually the blind side of the quarterback, so they can’t see you,” Quinn said. “I had a coach that told me anytime the defense gets a turnovers it’s like a 65-70 percent chance of winning. Any time you score on defense it’s pretty much 100 percent. That’s more my mindset. If I can get a strip, forced fumble and touchdown on defense, that pretty much guarantees the team wins and that’s what I’m about.”

Miami Dolphins: How brain tumor affects Robert Quinn

Miami Dolphins: Robert Quinn explains why he protests during anthem

Adam Gase: Miami Dolphins have serious plan to teach, study and learn better

Will Miami Dolphins’ plan for even ball distribution result in offensive success?

Don’t apologize for Danny Amendola-Wes Welker comparison

Miami Dolphins: Will Robert Quinn have a greater impact than Ndamukong Suh?

Get our articles sent right to your Facebook feed by clicking here

 

I’d like to trust Miami Dolphins’ plan, front office – but here’s why I can’t

Mike Tannenbaum, Stephen Ross, Ndamukong Suh, Joe Philbin and Dennis Hickey when Suh joined the Dolphins.

Mike Tannenbaum was talking about the long-range vision subscribed to in the Dolphins’ front office. In doing so, he threw out terms like “macroeconomic modeling” the decision-makers were piecing together. He talked about how cap management is an “allocation of resources.”

“To have sustainable success in a cap system, you’re going to have to hit on your draft choices,” he said. “We want to retain as many of those as reasonably possible. With that said, over time, some of those players are going to graduate, which, if and when they do, you want to celebrate it. That means they’ve been drafted well, they’ve been coached well, they’ve been developed well.”

Do three years provide enough of a scorecard to judge all the wellness Tannenbaum was espousing? Because today is almost the three-year anniversary of when he said that quote — March 11, 2015, at the announcement of the signing of free-agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Tannenbaum, the executive vice president of football operations, knew the Dolphins were dumping a huge percentage of their eggs in Suh’s basket. He knew that for the Dolphins to perform, uh, well, with Suh, not only would Suh have to perform up to the standards he set in Detroit, but the front office would have to have as many hits as Suh did.

There cannot be a need to make a case for the many ways virtually none of this panned out. A couple of 6-10 seasons sandwiched around one 10-6 scream failure. And there’s the fact that the Dolphins ended up writing checks for nearly half of the record $114 million contract they handed Suh before their divorce.

As outlined in this space earlier, there’s also the trickle-down cap hit Tannenbaum warned about that helped Jarvis Landry “graduate” to Cleveland — unless, of course, it was equal parts of this narrative to “change the culture” we’re being fed now, too.

All this would be infinitely easier to swallow if this front office had earned the kind of credit in PR terms that it never had much use for in a salary-cap sense. If you’re willing to credit Tannenbaum for getting two low picks and cap relief for trading Landry to the Browns, you also have to hold him accountable for creating the need for that cap relief in the first place.

So do you trust this front office?

Are you comfortable with its plan, whatever it may be?

Tannenbaum himself said the Dolphins had to hit on their draft picks. Let’s start with 2012, admittedly pre-Tannenbaum, because that’s when they drafted quarterback Ryan Tannehill:

2012-14

Total Dolphins picks: 24

Still on team: Only Tannehill, DE Terrence Fede and possibly DB Walt Aikens, a free agent, and T Ja’Wuan James

2015

Dolphins picks: 6

Still on team: 4 (WR DeVante Parker, DT Jordan Phillips, CB Bobby McCain, CB Tony Lippett)

2016

Dolphins picks: 8

Still on team: 7 (T Laremy Tunsil, CB Xavien Howard, RB Kenyan Drake, WR Leonte Carroo, WR Jakeem Grant, CB Jordan Lucas, TE Thomas Duarte). QB Brandon Doughty is on practice squad

2017

Dolphins picks: 6

Still on team: 5 (DE Charles Harris, LB Raekwon McMillan, CB Cordrea Tankersley, G Isaac Asiata, DT Davon Godchaux, DT Vincent Taylor

OK, so not every pick is going to pan out. What about the players who do excel? They don’t for long. Not in Miami. Last season, Suh was the Dolphins’ MVP, which stands for Most Volatile Perch. It’s the kiss of death. You win MVP, you may as well turn in your playbook.

Just look at this head-scratching list:

2008 Dolphins MVP: QB Chad Pennington (played only four games with Miami after winning) and LB Joey Porter (lasted one more season)

2009: RB Ricky Williams (lasted one more season)

2010: 7-9. None chosen

2011: QB Matt Moore (last season likely his final one with Dolphins)

2012: DE Cameron Wake (still around)

2013: CB Brent Grimes (he and his wife left South Florida after two additional seasons)

2014: Tannehill

2015: S Reshad Jones (still around), Landry (lasted two more seasons)

2016: RB Jay Ajayi (lasted only seven more games)

2017: Suh (gone faster than you could pronounce his full name)

Getting back to the culture business, which we’d been led to believe was well on its way toward a solution, the current purge raises a question of leadership in the locker room. The only players still on the roster who have been honored with the Dolphins’ annual leadership award are center Mike Pouncey and Wake, and only Tannenbaum seems to know how safe those two are.

Assuming Tannehill reclaims the starting job, he’ll be a team leader. Receiver Kenny Stills will be another. Jones, a model of sustained excellence, seems more the type of when he does speak, others will listen. And on special teams, should he re-sign as a free agent, there’s Michael Thomas.

On a 53-man roster, even including the maybes, that’s a mighty short list.

All is not lost. Tannenbaum is correct when he points out how frequently the NFL playoff bracket gets flipped. He has pointed out on multiple occasions how five of the six teams to make the playoffs in the NFC were newbies in 2017.

If it’s so easy, then, why have the Dolphins made it only once since 2008?

[Dolphins releasing LB Lawrence Timmons]

[Top 10 Miami Dolphins Offseason Priorities]

[Possible replacements for Jarvis Landry in free agency, NFL Draft]

[What Jarvis Landry said after being traded to Cleveland]

[Miami Dolphins master the art of wasting their best draft picks]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

Here’s what the Miami Dolphins’ offense will be missing without Jarvis Landry

Jarvis Landry celebrates his touchdown against the Bucs in November 2017. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Now that the Dolphins are trading away receiver Jarvis Landry to the Cleveland Browns, this is what their offense will be missing in 2018:

Where did all the MVPs go? It’s possible that by the start of the 2018 season, safety Reshad Jones and QB Ryan Tannehill will be the only former team MVPs left on the Dolphins’ roster. The most recent MVPs include QB Matt Moore, DE Cameron Wake, CB Brent Grimes, Landry, RB Jay Ajayi and DT Ndamukong Suh. Landry shared the award with Jones in 2015. The recent trade for DE Robert Quinn calls into question whether the Dolphins will bring back Wake and/or Suh.

Leading the NFL: In 2017, Landry became the second Dolphin to lead the NFL in receptions, joining O.J. McDuffie, who had 90 catches in 1998.

Moving the chains: Landry tied for fourth with 28 third-down receptions in ’17. He also tied for fourth with nine receiving TDs.

Taking no days off: In 2017, Landry became one of only four players in NFL history to record at least five receptions in all 16 games of a season. Landry joined Jimmy Smith (’01, Jaguars), Pierre Garcon (’13, Redskins) and Antonio Brown (’13 and ’14, Steelers).

Getting hot as weather got cold: Landry’s contributions increased in crunch time. He had 35 receptions in December 2014 and 34 catches in November 2015. The only Dolphin to record more receptions in a month was O.J. McDuffie, who caught 36 passes in November 1998.

Postseason record: Landry played in only one playoff game as a Dolphin, but he caught 11 passes for 102 yards in that January 2017 game in Pittsburgh. That tied McDuffie’s 11 catches for 154 at Buffalo in December 1995 for most receptions by a Dolphin in a playoff game.

* Miami Dolphins make all-time franchise mistake in dealing Landry

* What Jarvis Landry said after he’s traded from Miami Dolphins

* Miami Dolphins master art of letting best draftees walk away


Most receptions in first four seasons

Player, team (Rookie yr.)        1st     2nd    3rd    4th     Total

1. Jarvis Landry, Miami (’14)   84      110     94    112    400

2. Anquan Boldin, Ariz. (’03)      101      56    102   83     342

3. Larry Fitzgerald, Ariz. (’04)     58      103    69    100   330

4. A.J. Green, Cincy (’11)           65       97     98     69     329

5. Brandon Marshall, Den. (’06) 20      102    104   101   327


Most single-season receptions by a Dolphin

Receiver                       Yr        Rec.

1. Jarvis Landry           ’17       112

2. Jarvis Landry           ’15       110

3. Jarvis Landry           ’16       94

4. O.J. McDuffie             ’98       90

5. Mark Clayton             ’88       86

5. Brandon Marshall      ’10       86

7. Jarvis Landry           ’14       84


Mark Clayton and Mark Duper. (Post file photo)

Most receptions in Dolphins history

Receiver                       Yrs        Rec.

1. Mark Clayton             ’83-92    550

2. Mark Duper                ’82-92    511

3. Nat Moore                  ’74-86    510

4. O.J. McDuffie             ’93-01    415

5. Chris Chambers         ’01-07    405

6. Jarvis Landry           ’14-17    400


Most receiving yards in Dolphins history

Receiver                       Yrs             Yds

1. Mark Clayton             ’83-92         8,643

2. Mark Duper                ’82-92         8,869

3. Nat Moore                  ’84-86         7,546

4. Chris Chambers         ’01-07         5,688

4. O.J. McDuffie             ’93-01         5,074

6. Duriel Harris               ’76-83, ’85  4,534

6. Brian Hartline             ’09-14         4,243

8. Jarvis Landry           ’14-17         4,038


Jarvis Landry’s regular-season statistics

Yr.        Rec.        Yds       Avg.    LG       TD

’14        84            758       9.0       25        5

’15        110          1,157   10.5      50TD   4

’16        94            1,136   12.1      71        4

’17        112           987      8.8       49        9

Tot        400          4,038   10.1     71        22


[RELATED: Dolphins master art of letting best draft picks get away]

Jarvis Landry saga: Miami Dolphins master art of letting best draftees walk away

How could the Dolphins let Jarvis Landry go so easily? Because they’re the Dolphins. (Getty Images)

Pop quiz: Which receiver would you rather have, Mike Wallace or Jarvis Landry?

I’d say you have five seconds to think it over, but if you’ve been paying any attention — heck, even if you’ve barely paid attention — you should ace this in 0.1 seconds.

I can hear you saying the correct answer obviously is Landry. I also can hear you saying why even ask such a stupid question?

Because the question isn’t stupid if you’re the Miami Dolphins. In fact, their answer isn’t the same as yours, mine and just about anyone else in the waking football universe.

They once valued Wallace more than they value Landry today.

The Dolphins handed Wallace a fatter free-agent contract that in today’s salary cap dollars was greater than what they could have been paying Landry right now to avoid absurdly giving him away to the Cleveland Browns — a deal that goes straight into the Wes Welker Hall of Fame.

Landry came within an eyelash of becoming the franchise’s first player with three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons, yet he’s valued less today than the day he walked in the door as a second-rounder in 2014, according to the Miami Dolphins’ calculator or abacus or whatever it is they use to do their math.

Just how is it a guy can enter the league as a 2, perform like a 1, yet get traded away for nothing more than a 3?

[Miami Dolphins make all-time franchise mistake in dealing Jarvis Landry]

[What Jarvis Landry said after trade from Miami Dolphins]

Dolphins fans can be forgiven for having a range of emotions. Angry? Sure. Skeptical over where the passion and yards are going to come from? Yes and yes.

But shocked? Don’t be naive.

Even though the Dolphins swore all along they wanted Landry, even though Landry swore he wanted to be here, and even though Landry never held out for even one optional practice when others would have, the way this played out couldn’t have been more laughably predictable if it were splashed across three billboards outside Davie.

This is a franchise for which there are two inalienable truths:

1. Its draft record is poor.

2. Its record of retaining draftees who outperform their draft position is worse.

In 2012, the Dolphins hit in Rounds 3 (Olivier Vernon), 4 (Lamar Miller) and 7 (Rishard Matthews). Not one received his lucrative second NFL contract from the Dolphins. Neither, for that matter, did Charles Clay, a sixth-rounder in 2011.

(Reminder: We are talking about the Dolphins here, not the Marlins.)

It never even reached a boiling point with Jay Ajayi, a fifth-rounder who like Landry was a recent team MVP. The Dolphins weren’t thrilled with his attitude, but his impending pricetag hastened his trade to Philadelphia.

And you wonder where this team’s offensive playmakers are? Simple. Everywhere else.

Let’s not forget the case of Vontae Davis, the first-rounder in 2009 who developed into a Pro Bowl cornerback. For Indianapolis, after Joe Philbin showed him the door.

Credit the Dolphins for extending Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones (fifth round, 2010), but why are such transactions the exception? Why perennially procrastinate, the NFL equivalent of starting your taxes the evening of April 15?

In 2013, the Dolphins took a stab at a home-run hitter by signing Wallace, but like so many splashy free-agent signings (which Mike Tannenbaum adores), the love affair was fleeting. Wallace was given a five-year contract averaging $12 million per year, which swallowed 9.75 percent of that season’s salary cap. If Landry could have been signed for about $14 million per, he’d represent 7.86 percent of next season’s cap.

(And while we’re on the subject of cap management, indulge me with a question only those inside the building are qualified to answer: Would the numbers look this ugly if Dawn Aponte’s fingers were still tapping the calculator keys? Just askin’.)

Even good teams lose some good players. They swallow those losses by replenishing with shrewd drafting. The top three rounds alone have netted such recent Dolphins selections as the Thomases (Daniel and Dallas) and the Turners (Billy and Patrick). When there are enough such flops to form a name game like this, that’s a problem.

At least this routine probably will spare us next offseason. The 2015 draftees whose contracts will be up for renewal are DeVante Parker, Jordan Phillips, Bobby McCain and Tony Lippett. Taking various factors into account, I’d peg McCain as the one worth paying the closest attention to, given his emergence last season, which should boost his pricetag.

As for the Kenyan Drakes out there, who are busting a gut for that coveted second contract, a word of caution:

Don’t be shocked if it doesn’t come here.

[Here’s what the Miami Dolphins’ offense will be missing without Jarvis Landry]

BREAKING: Miami Dolphins trade away Jarvis Landry

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry is gone. (Andres Leiva / The Palm Beach Post)

No wide receiver in NFL history has more catches in his first four seasons than Jarvis Landry.

And now, Landry is gone.

The Miami Dolphins traded away Landry on Friday, according to a league source, sending him to the Cleveland Browns for draft picks.

Landry exceeded expectations as a second-round draft choice out of LSU in 2014.

[Dolphins make all-time franchise mistake]

[Miami Dolphins master art of letting best draftees walk away]

[Here’s what the Miami Dolphins’ offense will be missing]

The three greatest reception seasons in Dolphins history were turned in by Landry, who endeared himself to the fan base with his trademark style of effort, determination and competitiveness.

As a rookie, Landry posted 84 catches. In 2015, 110 catches.

In 2016, Landry nabbed 94 catches. And then in 2017, Landry led the entire league with 112 catches.

But it wasn’t enough to keep Landry in South Florida, where he so badly hoped to stay.

The Dolphins franchise-tagged Landry, because they didn’t want to lose him to free agency with no compensation. But the odds that Landry would play on the one-year contract worth around $16 million were slim.

And Miami didn’t seem determined to lock Landry, 25, up on a four- or five-year contract. Though a source said Miami at one point early in the process offered Landry around $13.5 million and season and Landry sought around $14.5 million a season, no compromise could be reached.

It was about money, but not only about money.

The Dolphins worried about Landry’s sometimes volatile temperament. And they also wished he would show greater attention to detail, on and off the field at times.

Although it was largely a product of what he was asked to do in Miami’s offense, Landry had only 8.8 yards per reception in 2017 and averaged 10.1 yards per reception over his career.

One positive is that Landry scored nine touchdowns last season, far more than any other in his career.

Dolphins coach Adam Gase was almost always an advocate of Landry, and even a defender of Landry.

Asked at the recent NFL Scouting Combine about the void that would be left by Landry, Gase did not downplay his contribution.

“I think anytime you have a player that’s really been elite at his spot, if that guy’s not there, we found this out last year, at least we felt at the quarterback position it makes a big difference and you have to make adjustments,” Gase said. “That’s why we’re trying to make sure we put this team together the right way.”

The Dolphins had allowed Landry and his agent, Damarius Bilbo, to inquire about which teams would be willing partners in a sign-and-trade. Among the teams that emerged as contenders were the Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns.

Some of the teams Landry would have been enthusiastic about playing for were not interested in giving Miami compensation as well as making Landry one of the highest-paid receivers in the NFL.

Landry was described by some as a wide receiver in a running backs body, and with a running back mentality. Landry, listed at 5-foot-11, 208 pounds, sometimes made plays that seemed improbable for a man of his size.

Landry never shied away from contact, was a willing blocker and had a propensity to make thrilling one-handed catches, like his close friend Odell Beckham, Jr., of the New York Giants.

At times Landry lost control of his emotions. He drew fines. And ejection. And Miami was hoping that all that would not have a negative impact on their desire for him to take an increased leadership role.

In four seasons, Landry emerged as a favorite of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. But in those four seasons, Miami never won a playoff game.

Landry had 102 receiving yards in a loss at Pittsburgh at the end of the 2016 season.

Fearless, Landry asked Miami to remain on punt and kickoff returns, even after he became a Pro Bowler. Landry has been a Pro Bowler for three consecutive seasons.

The Dolphins will need a long-awaited breakout season from DeVante Parker and even more production from Kenny Stills. Surely Miami will look to add a capable slot receiver in free agency or the NFL Draft.

Landry will go down as one of the greatest receivers in Dolphins history, mentioned fairly in the same breath as legends Mark Clayton, Mark Duper and Nat Moore.

Landry wanted to end his career in Miami.

But NFL stories rarely end in fairy tale fashion.

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