Jarvis Landry will be a happy man in Cleveland.
Earlier this offseason the Cleveland Browns traded a fourth-round pick this year and a seventh-round pick next year to the Miami Dolphins for Landry, who was under the franchise tag. Landry was seeking a long-term deal, and on Thursday he got it.
Landry got a five-year, $75.5 million deal with $47 million guaranteed from the Browns, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. That makes Landry one of the highest-paid receivers in the NFL.
Where does this deal place Landry among NFL receivers?
Landry’s $15.1 million per year ranks him fifth among NFL receivers according to Spotrac. The only receivers getting paid more per year than Landry are Antonio Brown, Mike Evans, DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins. The first three are among the best receivers in the NFL, and Watkins was overpaid because he’s 24, talented and receivers like that rarely hit unrestricted free agency.
Landry now makes more per season than A.J. Green and Julio Jones, among others.
Is Landry worth it?
It’s all relative, but the answer is probably not. Landry is a polarizing player. He has 400 catches through four seasons, which is great, but averages just 10.1 yards per catch. He plays slot receiver, and generally that position can be stocked with lower-priced but still productive players. Landry had 112 catches last season but only 987 yards. His job isn’t like Jones or Green, who stretch the field and are threats to break big plays, and that hurts Landry’s numbers. Landry isn’t a major impact player, yet he is very good at his role. It’s hard to justify more than $15 million a season for a receiver who averaged 8.8 yards per catch last season and has 22 touchdowns in 64 games.
Why would the Browns pay so much?
Cleveland didn’t send two picks to Miami for a year of Landry. He’s 25 and is a productive player. The Browns, coming off one win over the past two seasons, don’t have the luxury of luring players at a discount because they want to come to Cleveland. The Browns need good young players to build around, have a ton of cap room, and it was worth the higher price tag to lock up Landry and keep him happy.
Every other receiver in the NFL just perked up
You don’t think A.J. Green, who is signed through 2019, will note Landry’s contract? Green is a far more productive and versatile receiver, and he can and will get more than Landry at some point soon. The Browns just reset the market, for slot receivers and everyone else. Teams around the league won’t be happy to see the numbers of Landry’s deal. It just raised the bar for everyone else.
And, of course, the one receiver who just saw his contract demands get even higher: New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham, who happens to be Landry’s college teammate from LSU. Beckham is entering the final year of his contract.
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