Potential NFL Landing Spots for Cleveland Browns WR Jarvis Landry
Jarvis Landry may soon be joining the list of wide receivers looking for new homes in free agency.
The Cleveland Browns wideout took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to shed light on his situation with the team and his health.
Landry tweeted that he has "put the ball in CLE court" by letting the Browns that he would prefer to stick around and finish the final season of a five-year, $75.5 million deal he signed in 2018. If that doesn't happen, the 29-year-old—who said he got hurt in Week 2 and returned too quickly—is confident that he can stay healthy and be an asset elsewhere in 2022.
Given Landry's $16.4 million cap hit—approximately 7.9 percent of the projected cap next season—and poor production last year, the Browns may opt to forge ahead without him on their roster. They can save nearly $15 million in cap space by waiving him, as he'd leave only a $1.5 million dead cap hit.
If Landry does hit the open market, the following teams might be interested in his services.
The Indianapolis Colts are heading into a critical offseason after narrowly missing the playoffs. While their running game looks set with All-Pro tailback Jonathan Taylor leading the way, the passing attack is in dire need of a significant upgrade.
Adding Landry would help the Colts become more balanced on offense.
Michael Pittman Jr. emerged as a legitimate No. 1 WR for Indianapolis last year, reeling in a career-high 88 receptions for 1,082 yards and six scores. The 24-year-old appears to be a piece worth building around, but the rest of the receiving corps didn't offer much to get excited about.
No other Colts pass-catcher eclipsed the 400-yard or 40-reception mark last season. Meanwhile, Landry finished with 52 receptions for 570 yards and two scores in Cleveland even in a down year.
With T.Y. Hilton fading into the twilight of his career and reportedly mulling retirement this offseason, Landry could provide the Colts with an adequate replacement for the once-prolific wideout. They could have a new starting quarterback as well, as they might move on from Carson Wentz after one up-and-down campaign.
Regardless of who they have under center next season, the Colts need to bring in a reliable wideout to pair opposite Pittman.
The Chicago Bears are forging into a new era in 2022 with new head coach Matt Eberflus and new general manager Ryan Poles. More change could be on the way at wide receiver after Allen Robinson II slumped through his worst season as a pro last year.
Robinson caught only 38 passes for 410 yards and one touchdown in 12 games, all of which were his lowest marks for any season in which he played at least eight games. The Bears franchise-tagged him for $17.9 million last offseason, but they got little return on their hefty investment.
Chris Emma of 670 The Score said it "seems unlikely" that Robinson will remain in the Windy City, so the Bears will likely be on the hunt for a replacement this spring. Landry would be a great choice, as the proven veteran has largely avoided serious injury woes and consistently produced up until last season.
Adding a wideout of Landry's caliber would benefit quarterback Justin Fields as he prepares to go into a pivotal second season as the team's starter.
While Fields and Robinson struggled to get on the same page, the young signal-caller displayed strong chemistry with second-year wideout Darnell Mooney. Bringing in high-end pass-catcher like Landry would help draw defensive attention away from Mooney.
Landry said he wants to "do my part in winning a championship elsewhere" if the Browns release him, but the Bears don't appear to be a serious Super Bowl contender yet. The right contract offer might lure him to the Windy City regardless.
The Baltimore Ravens missed the playoffs this season for the first time 2017, but they're only a few small roster tweaks away from becoming a contender again in 2022.
Injuries are mostly to blame for Baltimore's late-season collapse, but the team also struggled to keep defenses honest with its passing attack. Even with Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown emerging as 1,000-plus-yard pass-catchers, the Ravens averaged only 233 yards per game through the air while scoring 21 touchdowns against 18 interceptions.
The lack of consistency in the passing game was especially noticeable on third down, as Baltimore's 36.4 percent conversion rate was the eighth-worst leaguewide. Landry would be a huge help in that department, as he ranked within the top 30 for receiving first downs in each of his first seven seasons.
Although both he and Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield played hurt last year, Landry still had 29 receiving first downs, which extrapolates out to a respectable 41 across a full 17-game season. Sammy Watkins, who Landry might replace within the Ravens offense, had just 17 receiving first downs in 13 games.
The Ravens would be foolish to pass on an opportunity to add Landry into the mix. The savvy veteran would be an ideal fit in this receiving corps, complementing Brown and promising rookie Rashod Bateman by moving the chains and making reliable plays.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots seem to have found a franchise quarterback in Mac Jones during the 2021 draft. They now must provide him with more weapons this offseason.
Jones rewarded the Patriots' decision to make him a Week 1 starter, ultimately leading them to a 10-7 record and playoff appearance. He did so without any high-end wideouts on the roster, which New England should rectify during free agency and/or the draft.
Jakobi Meyers was far and away Jones' favorite option, drawing a team-high 126 targets and catching 83 of them for 866 yards and two touchdowns. Kendrick Bourne was New England's most efficient receiver, turning his 80 looks into 55 catches for 800 yards and five scores.
While both players have found steady roles in this offense, they aren't true No. 1 talents. Landry has shown the ability to be a go-to player in the past, particularly when he hauled in 83 catches for 1,174 yards and six touchdowns during Baker Mayfield's sophomore season in Cleveland in 2019.
Although Landry hasn't had a 1,000-yard season since, the rise of the Browns' running backs and inconsistent play from Mayfield have held him back as much as the injuries.
Given head coach Bill Belichick's history of getting strong performances out of disgruntled veterans—Randy Moss' re-emergence as a superstar upon signing in New England is a prime example—the Patriots could do far worse than rolling the dice on Landry if he becomes available.