Monday, March 19, 2012
LaRon Landry joins Jets
By Rich Cimini
The New York Jets have signed former Washington Redskins safety LaRon Landry to a one-year contract.
The deal is for $4 million, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
"After spending time with the organization as a whole, I just felt that signing with the Jets was the right thing to do," Landry said in a team statement. "When you factor in that Rex coached my brother (Dawan) and the family-oriented demeanor, it just felt like home. It made the decision real easy for me. They have a top-notch support staff and facility and I really feel that I can prosper here."
The Jets were running out of options in a safety market that had already lost three players to franchise tags. They made an offer to Reggie Nelson, but he opted to re-sign Sunday with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Jets also showed interest in Brandon Meriweather, who signed with the Redskins last week.
Landry, the No. 6 overall pick in 2007, missed 15 games over the last two seasons because of an Achilles-tendon issue. He reportedly was told by the Redskins to have surgery to remove bone spurs from the tendon area, but he opted for alternative medicine procedures.
The Redskins didn't make a strong push to re-sign him, opting for Meriweather. Landry also visited with the Patriots.
With Eric Smith the only experienced safety under contract, the Jets wanted to fortify the position before the draft.
Former starter Jim Leonhard, only three months removed from major knee surgery, is a free agent -- but a return isn't out of the question. Brodney Pool, who replaced Leonhard in the lineup, signed a free-agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys.
The Jets want a playmaker at safety, as their safeties combined for only two interceptions last season. They also struggled in pass coverage against tight ends. However, Landry isn't known for his pass coverage; he has only four interceptions in five seasons.
The 6-foot, 220-pound Landry is better around the line of scrimmage, a physical tackler that should improve the Jets' run defense. He has six forced fumbles and 5½ sacks for his career.
Landry was on his way to becoming a premier safety when he was sidelined by a strained Achilles tendon in 2010. The injury forced him to miss the final seven games. Rather than surgery, recommended by the team, he received platelet-rich plasma treatments.
After missing the first two games of the 2011 season with a hamstring injury, Landry came back strong and started to flash his old form, but he went down with an injured groin. Some believe it may have stemmed from the still-troublesome Achilles tendon. Once again, the team recommended surgery. He opted for stem-cell treatment.
Landry said in late January that he expected to be 100 percent by free agency in March.