But the Dolphins’ season is now over and one of their best players is no longer under contract.
“I wouldn’t go into hypotheticals of what we would look like without him,” Gase said Wednesday. “I know that he’s had a lot of production, done what – as far as what we asked him to do – this offense kind of works with him well and suits him well.”
That offense scored the third-fewest points in the AFC en route to a 6-10 season. Landry was a consistent bright spot. He set an NFL record for the most receptions for a player through his first four seasons in the league (400). Landry also led the league with 112 catches and score a career-high nine touchdowns.
“We’ve probably wanted to use him in different ways to where we could stretch him down the field a little bit on certain concepts,” Gase said. “We haven’t always been able to get to it or I know he has had probably three or four big plays down the field taken away from penalties, whether it be a holding call or something that has gone wrong in those areas. He does kind of fit our system really well. Those three guys work well together, when we’ve got all three of those guys healthy and we’re rolling pretty good. For us, it’s more of a consistency thing and just keeping those guys going right and staying ahead of the sticks, so we can give those guys opportunities.”
Dolphins general manager Chris Grier would not confirm where Landry ranked on the priority list for players the franchise wanted to re-sign.
“I think with all of us right now, as Adam said, we’ve really just started the evaluation of our team,” Grier said. “Through the season, we’re always focused on our opponents and doing that. And the coaching staff, they’ll get that done and they’ll start looking at the players over the season and writing it up; but with all of our players, we’ve talked about the guys that we want to keep are our guys we know we’ve developed and had here. Jarvis is one of many players that we’ll be talking about over the next couple of weeks.”
Mike Tannenbaum, the Dolphins’ executive vice president of football operations, would not comment publicly on negotiations with Landry or his representatives. He said “in a perfect world,” the Dolphins would keep all of their free agents.
“There’s a salary cap, so we’ll make those decisions at the appropriate time within the context of what’s best for the organization,” Tannenbaum said.
Landry, 25, was a second round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He has started 57 of a possible 64 games during his four-year NFL tenure. The two-time Pro Bowl selection left the Dolphins’ Week 17 game early. He was ejected for being in the middle of a scrum against the Buffalo Bills. He was officially booted for disrespecting an official. Landry could hear from the NFL soon regarding further discipline.
Gase said that Landry’s actions in Sunday’s loss were “embarrassing,” but he wouldn’t overreact to one isolated incident when it came to Landry’s future with the Dolphins.
“I think that was the pinnacle of what I’ve ever seen with him during a game,” Gase said. “I know there’s been times where some of those guys kind of got in the mix a little bit; but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it get to a level where it was extremely bad. Last game, that was about as embarrassing as I’ve seen in a long time.
“It’s just something that we can’t have happen. Whether people think we weren’t in the game or it was garbage time or whatever it was, all I know is we were in the game and we’re going on our last drive of the game and two of our best players on offense aren’t in there. That was very, very frustrating to watch and standing there, not being able to do anything. We need way better control from our best players in the heat of the moment.”
A Dolphins source told the Miami Herald that the team offered Landry a multi-year contract offer in December, but there is “distance” between the two sides. Landry’s agent Damarius Bilbo made a counter offer, according to ESPN. The Herald reported in December that the Dolphins want to keep Landry.
If the team decides to put the franchise tag on the wide receiver, he would receive about $16 million in 2018.
“I love Miami,” Landry told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in December. “My family’s here in Miami. The fan base is here in Miami. The relationships, this building, this organization, I want to be here. I’ve always believed in being a guy that plays for one team. With that, I hope that opportunity presents itself.”
“But obviously getting what you deserve and everything, this is what I work for. So we’ll see.”