As Jarvis Landry seems to openly question his future in Cleveland, should the Lions be paying attention to his situation?
The Detroit Lions are surely in the market for wide receivers this offseason, with all options (free agency, trades, the draft) theoretically on the table. With that, the case of Jarvis Landry has taken some attention this week.
Landry had a tough 2021 campaign with the Cleveland Browns, as he battled injuries on his way to a career-low 52 receptions and 570 yards in 12 games. Questions about his future, with one year left on his contract and a cap hit close to $16.4 million, have been easy. ESPN’s Jake Trotter has suggested it “feels like” Landry has played his last season with the Browns.
Earlier this week, Landry took to Twitter to talk about his situation. He said he played through a high grade MCL sprain, a partial quad tear and a bone bruise last season. He wrote he has “put the ball” in the Browns court about his future with the team, while adding he has said he’d like to stay.
Should the Lions pay any attention to Jarvis Landry’s situation?
Any idea of Landry’s availability is prefaced by the Browns making him available. According to Over The Cap, they can cut him and clear $14.88 million in cap dollars. They could also trade him. An extension to drop his cap number and keep him around, with plenty of question marks regarding their wide receiver situation, is definitely possible.
Shifting to how he’d fit with the Lions, there’s no denying Landry’s production over the course of his career. He is a five-time Pro Bowler in eight NFL seasons, with two 100-plus catch seasons and three seasons with more than 1,100 yards on his resume. He also adds a little something as a runner (two rushing scores last season).
Landry is not a vertical downfield threat. His average depth of target has hovered around 8.0 the last two years in Cleveland, and he plays a lot in the slot (45 percent of his snaps in 2021, according to Player Profiler). While no one should be pigeonholed into doing one thing when they can do more, Amon-Ra St. Brown is the Lions’ primary slot receiver and brings a lot of the same things to the table Landry does.
If he’s cut and they can set their price, the Lions could kick the tires on Landry and his situation is broadly worth keeping some eye on. But it also takes two to tango, and him taking an offer along the line Detroit would realistically make has to be a question.
Everything considered, if he becomes available, Landry and the Lions are simply not a fit for each other.