MIAMI (AP) — Jarvis Landry is leaving one bad offense for another one.
The Miami Dolphins agreed to trade the Pro Bowl receiver to the Cleveland Browns for two draft picks, two people familiar with the deal said Friday.
The people confirmed the agreement to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because under NFL rules, no trade can be completed until Wednesday, the start of the league’s new year. One of the people said Miami will receive a draft pick this year and another in 2019, and neither is a first-rounder.
Miami finished sixth-worst in scoring last season and went 6-10. Cleveland finished last in scoring and went 0-16.
The Browns were desperate to land a playmaker such as Landry, who will complement former Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon. Landry has been selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls and has 400 receptions, an NFL record for a fourth-year player.
“Y’all better understand (stuff) about to get SERIOUS… ON MY MAMA,” Landry tweeted after news of the trade broke.
Landry signed a $16 million, one-year franchise tag Thursday with Miami, clearing the path for a trade. The Dolphins began shopping him when the parties were unable to reach an agreement on a long-term contract.
He’s likely to get that extension from the Browns.
Landry made $894,000 last year, when he completed the contract he signed as a rookie. He was by far the highest-profile Dolphins player eligible for free agency, and perhaps the best player on an offense that sputtered with quarterback Jay Cutler.
But Landry’s volatile personality became a concern for Miami. He was ejected in the fourth quarter of the season finale, a loss to Buffalo, and coach Adam Gase said the episode was embarrassing and “extremely bad.”
Miami’s passing attack in 2017 gave Landry a bizarre stat line: 112 receptions to lead the league and break his own franchise record, but an average of 8.8 yards per catch to rank 110th. He a career-high nine touchdowns but finished 13 yards shy of 1,000.
Landry’s departure adds a receiver to the Dolphins’ long list of offseason needs. Receivers Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker are expected to return, along with quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who missed all of 2017 because of a knee injury.
Cleveland is $113 million under the salary cap and was expected to seek an impact receiver in free agency. Acquiring Landry has likely changed those plans and the Browns can address a multitude of other needs.
Landry typically plays slot receiver, and the Browns have been disappointed with the production of former first-round draft pick Corey Coleman, who has been injured the past two seasons.
Gordon may benefit most from Landry’s arrival and the talented 26-year-old posted four trophy emojis on his Twitter page after the news of trade broke.
With 12 picks in this year’s draft, including the Nos. 1 and 4 overall and five in the first 64, the Browns had the ability to pull off a major deal for a major player.
Hue Jackson has handed his offense over to former Pittsburgh coordinator Todd Haley, who should know how to best use a player of Landry’s skill after coaching Antonio Brown the past few seasons.
Cleveland’s offense didn’t have a legitimate go-to receiver last season until Gordon returned from an indefinite NFL suspension with five games left. Running back Duke Johnson finished as the club’s leading receiver.
Without enough players to spread out defenses, the Browns were too often one-dimensional, and their lack of options made life more difficult for rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer. He led the NFL with 22 interceptions and routinely made poor decisions inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.
Cleveland is likely to sign a veteran quarterback in free agency — perhaps Cincinnati’s AJ McCarron — and the Browns can take the best QB in this year’s draft class with the No. 1 pick.
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