Outside of free agency and the upcoming NFL draft, the two biggest offseason topics facing the Miami Dolphins involve the health of starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the contract of Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry.
Miami coach Adam Gase addressed both situations Tuesday during the AFC coaches' breakfast at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.
Tannehill's knee is progressing well, according to Gase, and the coach added that it would have been difficult to keep him off the field had the Dolphins won a playoff game in January. Tannehill missed the final four games of the season with a sprained ACL and MCL but will not require surgery. He will be ready for Miami’s offseason program and will wear a lighter brace next season to protect his knee and maintain his mobility.
“There's no restrictions on him,” Gase said of Tannehill. “His biggest thing right now is strengthening. That's all he's been doing, and he's doing everything that he normally does in the offseason. Nothing has changed for him.”
Landry’s situation is more fluid. He is entering the final year of his rookie contract and due a salary of $893,850. That is substantially low for a receiver who has led Miami in receptions the past three seasons and made two consecutive Pro Bowls.
The Dolphins are expected to work out a contract extension with Landry this offseason as they have with other in-house free agents such as safety Reshad Jones, defensive end Andre Branch and receiver Kenny Stills. Much of the team’s offseason has been built around taking care of its own players.
“Our goal is to make sure that these three [receivers] stay together for a long period of time and to make sure they stay with the quarterback to develop a great continuity between those guys,” Gase said. “So we’ll get to that when we know it’s the right time for us. It's just, right now, we are where we are. We'll see how things play out when some of these situations come up.”
Gase said he's not worried about a potential holdout from Landry if there is no agreement in place before offseason workouts. According to the latest NFLPA records, the Dolphins have $18.5 million in salary cap room. That should be enough to secure Landry for the long term and sign Miami’s incoming draft class. But Landry’s situation is worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks and months.