NFL Free Agency: New York Jets Sign Strong Safety LaRon Landry
LaRon Landry reached agreement with the Jets on a one-year, $4 million deal.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2012
As a Jets fan, this is music to my ears. A day after the Jets were spurned by free safety Reggie Nelson, many fans were worried that perhaps the biggest flaw to the Jets, their safety position, would require the team to use its first-round pick in the draft on a safety rather they a pass rusher.
It's also worth noting that the Jets are not done as they are currently inquiring about former teammate of Landry, O.J. Atogwe. He currently does not have a meeting set up, but as arguably the best free safety available and due to his injury history, he could be a steal for the Jets.
The Jets' original plan was to sign Landry as well as Reggie Nelson, but the Bengals who usually are cheap when it comes to re-signing their players paid up and offered Nelson a more lucrative contract. After the loss of Nelson, Landry was seen as a must from the Jets. The deal, as Schefter reported, is one year and $4 million.
Landry has proven to be a great player, when healthy. He has only played 17 games the last two seasons due to an Achilles injury that he refuses to get surgery on. This is likely why he signed a one-year deal in an attempt to prove his health and score big in free agency the next offseason.
Before the signing of Landry, it was assumed that the Jets would need to use their 16th pick in the NFL draft to acquire Alabama safety Mark Barron. Although Barron is considered the best safety prospect in the draft, he did suffer a hernia and many believe that the Jets should not use their pick on a safety, but rather a pass rusher such as Melvin Ingram or Courtney Upshaw to join Aaron Maybin as the Jets' primary pass rushers.
With all that said, the Jets are spending their money wisely and appear that they are going to rely heavily on the draft to be competitive next season and try to get back into the playoffs. Landry is a good first step, but they will need a few more pieces to get back to the team they were two seasons ago.
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