Dec. 2, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets free safety LaRon Landry (30) intercepts a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (15) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
The Colts have inked a four-year contract with Pro-Bowl Safety LaRon Landry (6-0, 220 pounds, 28 years old). The New York Jets had wanted to retain the 28-year-old tackle machine but couldn’t find a way to fit him under the salary cap. Landry’s deal is worth a reported $24 million with $14 million guaranteed according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora), who reported the deal on Twitter around 11:30 Wednesday night. Mr. Grigson, it appears, has been working late.
With Landry, Indianapolis has vastly upgraded the safety position without breaking the bank. Landry has made a name for himself as both a solid tackler and a punishing hitter. He is at his best against the run but can get out and cover well for such a big guy.
Landry was a standout at LSU and was drafted sixth overall in 2007 by the Washington Redskins. In his first three seasons, he was not only a fine strong safety, but also a picture of durability, missing only one game. That all changed in 2010, when he landed on the injured reserve from an Achilles tendon injury after nine games. The next season, he played only eight games and eventually had surgery on the damaged tendon. He then signed a one-year deal with the Jets, where he excelled, playing all 16 games and racking up 100 tackles (76 solo), 2 interceptions, and 8 passes defensed. Because his contract didn’t allow the Jets to use the franchise tag on him, he was able to seek out a long-term deal with a winning team.
Landry’s natural position is Strong Safety, which should allow Antoine Bethea to play his natural position of Free Safety. With the new combination of Bethea’s speed and Landry’s strength and intimidation factor, the Colts will have turned a weakness into an area of strength, should both be able to players stay healthy. This move, coupled with the signing of Greg Toler and re-signing of Darius Butler, should help strengthen Indy’s secondary from top to bottom.
Stay tuned to Colts Authority for further updates as well as a more in-depth look at Landry, and all of the Colts’ major free agent signings this week.
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Man every time I read Barnwell's column over at Grantland I get worried about next season. That guy has a way of just ruining your day with reasonable analysis.
Our D has always been undersized. I like how we are getting bigger across the board. From 2010 to now. CB Powers 5'9 187, now Davis 5'11 205. CB Lacy 5'10 177 now Toler 6' 192. CB Tryon 5'9 183, now Butler 5'10 185. Safety, Bethea still Bethea 5'11 205. Safety 09 Sanders 5'8 206, 10 Bullit 6'1 201, 12 Zibakowski 5'11 200, now Landry 6' 220. Plus Toler and Landry according to many outlets, like to lay hits on the opposing players. Sound like Pit? Maybe Ravens? I like how we are building. Receivers think twice about going middle when about to get laid out.
Excellent! Way to go Colts! Landry should really help them against the run. Now if they can just find another guard...
I hate LaRon Landry as a player. He's eye candy - makes the big hits that people remember but gets burned too often. It's all flash, no substance. He is also the type of guy that will decline very quickly - once he loses 1/2 a step he loses all effectiveness, and with a body his size losing speed doesn't seem too far away.
With the depth at safety this offseason I'm extremely disappointed that Landry is the guy the Colts went after. I'd strongly prefer Glover Quin for instance, and he got 5/25.
I hope, but doubt, the Colts will prioritize safety in the draft as its said to be deep this year. Bethea was bad last year and although I was a fan of his for a long time I'm not confident about him bouncing back to his previous levels.
@talkingplayoffs Bethea had 100 tackles, ranking second on the team. He also had a career high with 2 sacks and tied career-high with 7 passes defended. Still solid numbers and moving back to free safety. Landry was elected to the pro bowl last year and has a similar skill set to Sanders. Why you think quick decline in future? No basis for that. Body type doesn't mean a 28 yr old gets slower.
@cwjwl @talkingplayoffs I understand your concerns, Talkingplayoffs. I think ESPN shows Landry's big hit highlights, but I believe he's more than just a hitter. He's also a break down and wrap up tackler. He chooses his shots more wisely and has a better build than Bob Sanders. So I remain hopeful. However, in light of your concerns, I'm betting most of Landry's guaranteed money is in his first 2 years, leaving the door open for Indy to cut their losses if he is supplanted as a starter in year 3 or 4. It would make sense for them to draft a safety. I hope they get a corner, too. Landry and Toler are both a couple years removed from major injuries.
The Colts couldn't stop the run because their D-line was built to rush the passer, not because of their safeties. Having your safeties be "run oriented" is just begging the opposition to take deep shots all game long against you. That might work in the current AFC South (although I'd much rather Tennessee try to work it methodically) but will not work against the top teams in the league.
@hankster @MarcusDugan @cwjwl If you're signing a safety to be your run defender, you're building your defense wrong. I think we can all agree that the NFL is a passing oriented league these days. Wouldn't you want your defensive backs to be pass defenders?
If he can defend the run that's a plus, not a criteria.
dont celebrate just yet. Our safety position just got stronger, but the CB's we have are still a little shakey. we dont have a premier talent other than Davis. Toler, for as far as i know, is more of a nickel guy and we already have that in Butler. Vaughn is a disaster.... we really dont have a bonified starting caliber CB other than Davis.
@RobertItoh I like Davis as well. But I think Toler can be good. Scares me to say IF he stays healthy though. From what I've read, he was over shadowed by Patrick Peterson in AZ, but has all the tools and great work ethic. Fingers crossed. Crap, hate I said that too.
@cwjwl @RobertItoh FA corners are so overpriced, I can see why they went with one who is damaged goods. I'm hoping they pick up an eventual starter in the draft
@hankster @cwjwl @RobertItoh Polian actually worked similarly, though he never had this kind of cap space. The best GMs use free agency early to fill major needs, then focus on keeping their guys as the team progresses. In the late 90s and early 2000s, they actually did sign some free agents because they had a great many holes but as the team got better, free agency became less necessary. He just never went back to it when the talent became depleted later on.
I like the deal for Landry, reminds me of Bob Sanders also an all-pro safety. He will put a hurting on people in the secondary next year. The secondary is now a strong point on the defense, and if Francois comes to terms the D-line gets stronger too. I still would have paid Avril 2/15, which he got from the Hawks. The draft just got easier, now you can look for BPA at G, FB, WR, OLB, good job Ryan!
@unitas19 They still need a true nose tackle (u less Chapman works out). Francois is only 295, more of a natural DE. I wonder if they'll look at big DT's in the draft and go the UDFA route for a fullback. Hamilton sounds like there is no fullback he would prefer over Dwayne Allen. But he's not making those decisions.
Thing I like, is most areas of need have been relatively addressed. This should allow the Colts to draft best available player and not worry as much about the 'needs'. I think they would have anyway, but this could make the draft interesting. I see going after a WR with 1st or 3rd pick.
Me likey too!
And I know the Colts did a wonderful job of shoring up our receiving corps by letting Avery sign with the Chiefs... but 2 years 12 mil for Welker and the Colts can't do better than that. Taking a two year flyer on Welker for say 7 mil a year... that is not worth it?! You can't tell me that Welker would not thrive in Hamilton's west coast offense.
@DougEngland I think any receiver that can catch is going to thrive in the WCO with Luck at QB, as long as he has the protection. Brady could serve tea and then scan the field. We get Luck that kind of time and he'll make pro bowlers out of TY, Brazil, and Whalen. No need for a Welker IMHO.
@DougEngland Yeah. He and Vasquez were both comparatively cheap. Idk if they will sign a FA WR now. Maybe a low level guy and a promising draft pick. It's supposed to be a good draft for receivers, lots of speed. Maybe they'll go young and rely on the tight ends more.
@MarcusDugan Fantastic news!
@ColtsAuth_Kyle very excited about defence this year xx