The New York Jets waited and waited and waited, then waited some more, but finally came away with a free agent bargain. The Jets came to terms with safety Dawan Landry on Tuesday.
The terms of the deal have come out and Landry was scooped up for two-years and $3 million total. Compared to what other starting-caliber safeties have gotten in free agency, the Jets came away with a great deal. The Landry deal is $7 million less than the Philadelphia Eagles payed Patrick Chung, $38 million less than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave Dashon Goldson, and $21 million less than Jim Irsay and the Indianapolis Colts threw at Dawan’s brother and former Jet LaRon Landry.
The deal more closely resembles the one-year/$2 million deals given to Kenny Phillips and Bernard Pollard and the three-year/$5 million deal Adrian Wilson signed with the New England Patriots. The Jets get a cheaper average cap hit per year than all three of those contracts, an extra year of Landry than Philadelphia and the Tennessee Titans get with Phillips and Pollard, respectively, and a player three years younger than New England gets in Wilson.
Many people will point to the familiarity Landry can bring to the Jets — he worked with Rex Ryan in Baltimore and his brother, LaRon, was a Jet this past season — but that really has no effect on the deal. Landry had his best statistical seasons after Ryan left for the Jets and being the brother of another player means nothing — ask Jordan Palmer.
What the Jets should be excited for is a reliable veteran presence in the middle of the defensive backfield. Since his rookie reason in 2006, Landry has played in all 16 games every season except for 2008 when he suffered a freak spinal injury in the second game of the season.
Landry has also been consistent on the field as well — his total tackles tally 111, 97 and 100 in the past three seasons.
This deal also allows the Jets to bring in another cheap free agent if they choose to do so — hint: they should. The Jets can continue to bring in some cheap veterans to fill in the defense, while bringing in young talent on offense through the draft. Players like Kerry Rhodes, Tim Dobbins and Trevor Scott could make sense to bring in.
The Jets still have plenty of holes to fill, but a cheap, low-risk signing like this this is a good start — even if the start is a little late.
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