Somebody asked me on Twitter what the Washington Redskins offered safety LaRon Landry to try and keep him. I was a little bit surprised by the question, because there's no reason to believe the Redskins offered Landry anything. When I visited the Redskins in December, it was clear the team had grown tired of wondering from week to week whether Landry was going to play and that they didn't plan to offer him any real guaranteed money. Once it became clear there was a market for his services, it also became clear that the Redskins were fine with letting him leave.
Leave he did, agreeing to terms with the Jets on a one-year, $4 million deal, which doesn't sound like very much, especially if not all of that money is guaranteed. So the Redskins surely could have brought him back if they'd wanted to. But the key thing for Redskins fans to understand is that they didn't. Landry is an injured player. He's not "a player with a history of injuries." He's not "a player who comes with injury concerns." He is a player that his currently injured.
The same Achilles tendon injury has, for the past two years, been restricting not just his playing time but also his effectiveness in the rare games in which he does play. For the second straight offseason, in spite of it not working last year, Landry has refused to get the doctor-recommended surgery to fix the injury. Everybody remembers how great Landry was as a fearsome hitter early in his career. This is a guy who was the sixth pick in the draft just five years ago, for goodness' sake. His talent is not in question. What is in question is his ability to actually suit up and play every week, and the Redskins were tired of having to keep asking the question.
ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini, in the above link, puts it very well, calling Landry "a once-feared defensive player trying to revitalize his career on a once-feared defense." Jets coach Rex Ryan and GM Mike Tannenbaum have a track record of falling in love with big names, so it's no surprise that that's where Landry ended up. And for the Jets, the chance that Landry magically gets healthy and plays at something close to his early-career level is probably worth the risk. The Redskins had decided that it wasn't anymore. And they decided it long before today.