By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
Now that the 2013 Jets season has concluded, it is time to take a look at potential roster holes that could open up with departing free agents. Here, we break down LaRon Landry and determine whether or not he is worth retaining in the offseason.
While not the must fluid of defensive backs, Landry has tremendous instincts and straightline speed that give him more than adequate range, complemented by his more than adequate ball skills. However, he does have a tendency get fooled by play-action because of his aggressiveness, allowing an occasional big play. You don’t want him having to turn his hips and run to chase down a deep receiver.
Landry is physical in coverage, strong enough to play with some of the bigger tight ends. He is a bit too tight to run and change direction with slot receivers.
This is the best part of Landry’s game, as he has played some of his best football from the strong safety position. Landry makes his presence on the field felt with his huge downfield hits that can change the complexion of a game.
However, he is not just a bit hitter; he fills gaps well and can find the ball through trash. His only problem is that he loves playing the run so much he gets baited easily in play-action situations.
Landry has had a troubled injury history throughout his career, but he was able to stay healthy and get himself to the Pro Bowl in the process.
After making $4 million last year, Landry is certainly due for a raise after making the Pro Bowl and proving that he can stay healthy for a 16-game season. The Jets are reportedly trying to retain LaRon Landry, but he is not interested in giving anyone a hometown discount. Look for Landry to fetch somewhere around the $6 million per season range.
Role in 2013
Landry has proven that he can be an effective player at either safety position, but if Yeremiah Bell leaves in free agency, the Jets may elect to put second-year player Josh Bush at free safety and slide Landry to his more natural position at strong safety.
There is no question that Landry was a huge upgrade over anything else they had at the position in 2011, but he will likely price himself out of the market for the Jets, who are going to struggle to retain a lot of their free agents. The Jets do have some young players waiting in the wings, but playing young players at the safety position could lead to a lot of catastrophic mistakes.
As much as the Jets want to retain Landry, they may be better-suited to spend their money elsewhere, unless the market is softer-than-expected for Landry’s services.
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