- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Man, do I get LaRon Landry questions. Washington Redskins fans want to know if they're bringing him back. Dallas Cowboys fans want to know if they should sign him to play safety. Philadelphia Eagles fans want to know if they're taking a look. The answers, best as I can tell, are as follows:
No, no and only if it's really cheap. Landry is an injured player, folks. And if there's an early market for his services, it's because some team is willing to take a very big risk.
I guess Landry has fans' attention because he's a big name. And in spite of the fact that memories only go back six days in the NFL, there are some images still stuck in people's brains about big plays Landry used to make once upon a time when he was a healthy player. Oh yeah, when he's on the field, there are few safeties in the league scarier than Landry. There is no doubting that.
But the reason he's on the market -- and the reason the Redskins are talking to people like Brandon Meriweather while Landry is trying to get visits to other places -- is that he can't get on the field, and the Redskins are sick of wondering from week to week whether they can count on him. Hampered by Achilles and groin injuries, Landry played in eight games for the Redskins in 2011, was credited with just 35 tackles, no passes defensed and no interceptions. That doesn't scream, "Pay me!!!," especially when he played in only nine games the year before. The Achilles is still hurt, and he has refused to have surgery to repair it, which makes him an injured player, which explains why he's not on some big, happy tour of various team sites and sifting through huge contract offers.
So if you're a Redskins fan, you ought to say goodbye. The current coaching staff has had enough of waiting for Landry to show them what he can do -- and that he can do it reliably over the course of a full season. They have moved on. They used their franchise tag on Fred Davis instead and are looking at other options for the secondary.
And if you're a Cowboys fan, don't get your hopes up. The Cowboys don't appear to be going the big-name, low-production route this year. They're targeting guys they like for their specific need positions, and Brodney Pool is the safety coming in for a visit today.
And if you're an Eagles fan, keep expectations low. Yes, it's possible they'd take a look at Landry, but only if his price remains very low and he's willing to come in on a short, make-good deal that pays off only if he plays and produces. The Eagles have talented young safeties who need to play and develop, and while they might be willing to take a chance on Landry's talent, they're unlikely to do so at the expense of their long-range plan.
This post by AFC East blogger James Walker Wednesday says the Patriots and the Jets have some interest in Landry. It mentions the Eagles, too, at the bottom, but those two AFC East teams feel like more likely destinations. Rex Ryan loves him a big name, even if the production no longer matches up. You could see him taking a shot. And the Patriots? Well, Landry would feel like a very Patriot move. I could just imagine them signing him, late in the market, to a low-guarantee, high-incentive deal and everybody saying, "Wow, that Bill Belichick may have got himself a steal right there." You know. Like they said last year when he got Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco.
Fact is, whoever signs Landry may get themselves a steal, if he can finally stay healthy and put together a full season. But at this point, on the third day of free agency, with so many other healthier options available, it's hard to see how it's worth the risk. For anybody.