After a surprisingly quiet offseason, the Jets fully waded into the free agency pool yesterday afternoon with the addition of safety LaRon Landry.
A team source confirmed to Metro New York that the former Redskins safety “agreed in principle” to a one-year, $4 million deal after visiting with the Jets this past weekend. The Jets had also entertained Bengals safety Reggie Nelson earlier this weekend, but Nelson decided to stay in Cincinnati. The inability to sign Nelson made Landry the Jets’ top free agent priority.
“After spending time with the organization as a whole, I just felt that signing with the Jets was the right thing to do,” Landry said in a statement. “When you factor in that Rex coached my brother and the family-oriented demeanor, it just felt like home. It made the decision real easy for me. They have a top-notch support staff and facility and I really feel that I can prosper here.”
Upgrading the secondary was a major concern heading into the offseason. Eric Smith, who signed a long-term deal with the Jets last season, consistently showed a lack of speed.
Landry ran a 4.37 second 40-yard dash at the 2007 NFL Combine, but has bulked up since then.
“He’s a good player but he was always able to make plays because of his speed,” a league source said. “He can lower the boom now, but can he move around like he once did? You lose something when you add size like that.”
Health is also a concern for Landry, who has been limited to just 17 games over the past two seasons with an Achilles injury.
Landry’s best season in the NFL came in his rookie year when he registered a career high 95 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He was on pace to best both those numbers in 2010, but he stalled on 85 tackles through nine games with the Achilles injury cutting short his season.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.