The hard-hitting Landry signed a one-year deal with the Jets Mar. 19, which was announced by the team. Landry’s recent injuries postponed his opportunity of being the league’s best strong safety.
Clearly, the Jets’ one-year deal with Landry has everything to do with his injury. And the 27-year old safety is fine with that as he looks to prove that he’s back.
Landry has been banged up for the past two seasons, as he sustained a left Achilles tendon injury in 2010. The Achilles injury resurfaced towards the end of his 2011 campaign with the Redskins, after battling problems with his hamstring and groin during the beginning of that season.
Landry played in only 17 games over the last two seasons, which was extremely difficult for the 6-foot, 220-pound safety from Louisiana who never missed a game due to any injury during his football-playing life.
“Injury prone? Until my Achilles injury, I’ve never missed a game because of an injury,” said Landry in a one-on-one conversation on Jan. 30, 2012 via phone. “The first time I missed a game because of an injury was when we (the Redskins) played against the Chargers (San Diego) in my third season in the NFL (2009). Before then, I never missed a game, not in Pee Wee, not in high school, not in college. I don’t know where this injury prone thing came from.”
The relationship between the Redskins’ medical staff and Landry became toxic, as Washington’s staff wanted him to have surgery on his Achilles, knowing it would have taken him two years to heal and recover. Landry did not want to go under the knife, especially after finding out there were other resources to resolve his Achilles’ injury.
In 2011, Landry had platelet-rich plasma treatments during the course of the offseason and the NFL lockout. After aggravating his Achilles last season, Landry opted for a stem-cell treatment procedure called Biological Matrix, which allows the natural body to develop tissues through a healing process as the procedure repairs, reinforces and regenerates his body through medicine.
Due to Landry's unwillingness to have surgery (as the Redskins suggested), Washington did not pay for the safety’s chosen procedure. Landry decided to pay out of his pocket in order to get to the field quicker and be more effective.
Landry revealed in the conversation that he would be ready to go in March before free agency. Reportedly, Landry’s deal is worth $4 million.
The blitz-happy Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan has a safety in Landry who is aggressive, physical and plays better around the line of scrimmage, which he prefers. Landry will immediately improve the Jets' run defense. The LSU standout has six forced-fumbles and 5.5 sacks for his career.
With cornerbacks Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson, Landry’s addition would probably make the Jets’ secondary the best and most feared unit in the NFL. In 64 games played, Landry has 383 tackles (291 solo) with countless lumber added in his love taps.
One thing that cannot be ignored is that the one-year deal is a safety investment for the Jets. If Landry get injured again, especially if it’s his Achilles, there’s no loss.
What also cannot be ignored is Landry’s willingness to play the game he loves and when he displays his old form, a huge payday for the coming year will be recognized.
Barry Barnes is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.