There was once a time when Jarvis Landry was considered one of the NFL's top receivers, an elite YAC monster who caught anything in his general vicinity. Those days are long past. Landry has not been particularly good while with the Cleveland Browns, and his salary far outmatched his production. Landry's 2021 season in particular was disappointing; the five-time Pro Bowler missed four games due to injury and managed only 52 catches on 87 targets for 570 yards and two touchdowns.
Last year was an "everything goes wrong" season for the Browns, but Landry's numbers have declined in each of the last three seasons. He is entering the final year of his contract and went on Twitter today to inform the masses that he battled through injury all year, told the Browns he still wants to be there, and then addressed the possibility that he will not be in Cleveland next season.
Landry is not exactly trying to tweet his way off the team, but it is rarely a good sign when a player brings up potential job changes unprompted. He is due $14 million in salary next season but has a dead cap of only $1.5 million, making a move easy for the Browns. Financially, it is clearly in their best interest to move on, but that would leave the receiver room very thin in Cleveland.
There will be a few teams interested in trading for Landry around the league, even at that salary point. But that's also what we thought about Odell Beckham Jr. and he went through waivers unclaimed before heading to Los Angeles. Where will Landry end up if the Browns move on?
New England Patriots
The Patriots have very limited cap space after their big spending spree last year and have a lot of in-house pending free agents to deal with. Even if they restructured Landry's contract in a possible trade, it would be very tough to fit him under the cap without letting multiple starters walk. But should Landry hit free agency, New England needs to be mentioned because the team needs a receiver more than they need anything. If Landry were interested in a one-year rehabilitation deal where he comes to the Patriots, gets more than 100 targets due to their lack of other quality options, and leaves in 2023, then there's no better spot.
It is, shall we say, unlikely the Browns would trade Landry to a division rival. But if they cut him, Baltimore will be on the phone with Landry as soon as the move is filed with the league. Lamar Jackson has needed more help at wideout for two years running now and his injury-plagued 2021 should have reinforced to the Ravens' decision-makers how important it is to give him more talent. Landry will not solve all their issues but would serve as an ideal complement to Hollywood Brown and Mark Andrews. Plus, he gets to stick it to the Browns. If it's something he's interested in, it's a no-brainer for both sides.
DeVonta Smith had a great rookie season for the Eagles and Dallas Goedert remains a steady security blanket. But Jalen Hurts, perhaps more than any starter from last year's playoff teams, needs a lot of talent around him to succeed. Landry would fit well into Nick Sirianni's offense as a short-yardage move-the-chains receiver who can get open in a flash. The problem is that the Eagles have invested so much in the receiver position over the last three or four years that they may hesitate to pay Landry's $14 million salary in 2022 or go out of their way to give him money in free agency. But a young quarterback should have as many reliable targets as possible and as long as Hurts is the guy in Philly the franchise should be doing all it can to accomplish that goal.
The Bears are another team with a young quarterback in need of a decent receiver. Allen Robinson struggled to stay on the field last year, doesn't exactly seem enamored with the organization, and is unlikely to be franchise-tagged for a second year in a row. So money will be freed up at receiver and there will be a rather large hole in the depth chart without Robinson. Enter Landry. Chicago shouldn't rely on him to be its No. 1 wideout for the future, but he'd be a great addition for second-year quarterback Justin Fields as he embarks upon his first full season as a starter. The Bears have some money to play with this offseason. Landry would be a good use of that cash.