The New York Jets have signed safety LaRon Landry to a 1 year, 4 million dollar contract. Landry was the 6th overall pick of the Washington Redskins in 2007, where he has spent his entire career up until now. In that time he has 383 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 4 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles.
At 6 feet, 225 pounds Landry is a physical player who is a “in the box” safety. He will replace Eric Smith in that role in Rex Ryan’s defense. Despite playing at a Pro Bowl level at times throughout his career, Landry has had major durability issues which has led him to miss 15 games over the past two seasons after only missing 1 over his first three years. He has had issues with left Achilles tendon and groin. In the past two years, he has avoided getting injury and instead received plasma and stem cell treatment.
Considering the duration of the contract, this was a needed risk by the Jets to improve their safety situation as their free agent options were dwindling and they needed two players at the position. If healthy, Landry will be an upgrade over Eric Smith and should help in run support. However, the Jets still must add a free safety with coverage ability, whether that is OJ Atogwe or an early round draft pick. Smith now has the ability to be the role player and special teams ace he was in 2009, a role that he thrived in for most of the season.
Landry was playing the best football of his career in 2010 prior to the Achilles injury, prompting Head Coach Mike Shanahan to make a Rex Ryan like statement that he would have been the Defensive Player of the Year if he hadn’t got hurt. The Jets will now have four first round draft picks in their secondary, with Landry joining Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Kyle Wilson.