NFL free agency has slowed to a crawl as the 2013 NFL Draft draws ever closer, but the New York Jets made some news this week with the recent signing of free agent veteran safety Dawan Landry to a two-year deal.
The 30-year-old Landry, who played the previous two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, is the older brother of LaRon Landry, the former Jets Pro Bowl safety who signed with the Indianapolis Colts earlier this offseason.
The elder Landry brother played his first five NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, including the 2006 through 2008 seasons under Jets head coach Rex Ryan during Ryan’s days as Baltimore’s defensive coordinator.
Dawan Landry had signed a five-year deal with the Jaguars in 2011, but was cut last month after just two seasons in Jacksonville, enabling him to reunite with Rex Ryan in New York, the second ex-Raven to do so this offseason.
Rookie Jets GM John Idzik has taken a patient and diligent approach to free agency this offseason, and that approach netted them Landry on a two-year deal worth just $3 million in total, with only $650,000 guaranteed.
While Dawan Landry may not be the playmaker his brother is, he is a disciplined player whose knowledge of Ryan’s defense will definitely come in handy as he tries to earn the starting strong safety job in training camp.
As I mentioned Tuesday night on my weekly Jets podcast, it’s a signing akin to the addition of Yeremiah Bell last season, a veteran who won’t make many flashy plays, but will be a reliable asset to the Jets secondary.
Landry makes it easier for the Jets to fill out their safety depth with second-year guys Josh Bush and Antonio Allen, and perhaps a rookie or two, while minimizing growing pains typically associated with young players.
All in all, it’s another solid signing for Idzik and the Jets. A signing that won’t hurt the Jets financially in the future, and could pay dividends in 2013 if Landry can be the stabilizing force in the back end that he’s expected to be.