Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry signs franchise tag, opening door for trade

Omar Kelly, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Football

Replacing Landry won't be easy considering he's the Dolphins' best draft pick since Hall of Fame pass rusher Jason Taylor, who was selected in the third round of the 1997 draft.

Kenny Stills, a three-year starter for the Dolphins, has experience playing the slot position going back to his tenure with New Orleans. If Miami moves Stills inside, Leonte Carroo and Jakeem Grant, two receivers selected in the 2015 draft, would compete to become the third receiver paired with Stills and DeVante Parker.

The Dolphins also have Drew Morgan, who worked exclusively in the slot last season while a member of Miami's practice squad, two former Miami Hurricanes in Rashawn Scott and Malcolm Lewis, and Isaiah Ford, last year's seventh-round pick, on the roster.

According to a league source, the Dolphins have offered Landry a contract that would pay him an average salary of $13 million a season. Landry, who has set an NFL record for receptions in a receiver's first four years, wants a contract that's in the neighborhood of the four-year, $58 million deal Green Bay gave Davante Adams last December, which paid Adams an $18 million signing bonus and will pay him $32 million in the deal's first two seasons.

Adams' average annual salary of $14.5 million will make him the fourth-highest paid receiver, behind Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown ($17.0 million), Houston's DeAndre Hopkins ($16.2 million) and A.J. Green ($15.0 million). The franchise tag price is based on the average of the 10 highest-paid players at each position. If Landry plays on the tag, he'll earn the highest base salary of any receiver in the league for one season.

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However, it's possible that Sammy Watkins' next deal, and a new contract for Tampa Bay's Mike Evans, could raise the bar even higher. Watkins is viewed as the top unrestricted free-agent receiver on the market, and Evans is slated to earn $13.25 million on the fifth-year option of his contract.

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