All signs have pointed to a departure from the Washington Redskins for safety LaRon Landry, and now he has made that official, agreeing to terms with the New York Jets on a one-year deal worth $4 million, two people with knowledge of the situation said Monday.
The five-year veteran visited the New England Patriots and the Jets, and was receiving strong interest from the Philadelphia Eagles, according to a source close to the player.
But Landry ultimately decided to join Rex Ryan, who coached Landry’s brother, Dawan, in Baltimore when Ryan was the defensive coordinator for the Ravens.
Landry had hoped to work out a deal with the Redskins -- the team that drafted him sixth overall out of LSU in 2007. But the Redskins were hesitant to make a significant investment to Landry after he ended the last two years on injured reserve, hobbled by an injured Achilles’ tendon. During the last two offseasons, Landry chose not to have surgery on the Achilles, as team doctors and noted foot specialist Robert Anderson both suggested, but instead received alternative medicine treatments.
Landry was confident that he could make a full recovery without surgery, and was disappointed that Washington didn’t actively pursue a new deal with him this offseason. The safety wasn’t entirely surprised, however, saying at various points during the season that he believed if the Redskins wanted to keep him beyond 2011, they would have discussed an extension.
The Jets are hoping that Landry can return to the form that he displayed in 2010, when, during the first half of the season, he recorded 85 tackles, a sack and an interception and was in the running for defensive player of the year. Then he suffered the original Achilles’ tendon strain, and didn’t play in the final seven games of the season.
“When he gets healthy, obviously he’s a good football player. He just hasn’t been healthy in a year and a half,” Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said late last season, on the day Landry was placed on IR.
On the same day, coach Mike Shanahan said, “Last year in the first nine games that he played, he should have been player of the year. I think he would have been defensive player of the year, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy.”
The Redskins last week signed former Patriot and Chicago Bear Brandon Meriweather, who is expected to play strong safety. The team also has six-year veteran Reed Doughty and second-year pro DeJon Gomes under contract, but both played free safety more than strong safety last year.
Meanwhile, backup wide receiver Donte Stallworth has reached an agreement on a one-year deal with the New England Patriots. Stallworth last season recorded 22 receptions for 309 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games. His best game was a four-catch, 96-yard effort against New England on Dec. 11.