Juice is Worth the Squeeze
Jarvis Landry has spent a good deal of his career being underrated, most all of it to be honest. Coming out of LSU at the same time as Odell Beckham Jr. and not being drafted as high, he has always been slightly overlooked. Although he is a very skilled slot receiver, and can spread it out at times, people never seem to put him in the same category as players like OBJ, Brown, and JJ. Despite being constantly knocked down a notch in terms of his status, his numbers have always impressed. Even more impressive, is his dedication to the game. Even while playing alongside a decent set of receivers in Miami, he still managed outstanding numbers, while being a vocal leader of the team.
After the 2017 season, he became the first player to have 400 receptions in his first four seasons. He had 400 on the dot, etching his name in the record books forever. Despite his production, the Dolphins offense struggled in the absence of QB Ryan Tannehill. The team finished 6-10, and the season had been considered a disappointment.
In most situations, when a player produces the way he does, and is coming into a contract year, he is considered a valuable asset, and rewarded with an extension to the team that drafted him. The dolphins disagreed on what they viewed his value to be, and he chose the free agency route. He signed a 5-year, $75 million deal with the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 offseason, ending his time in Miami.
When debating Landry’s worth, a lot of people like to point to his yards per reception. During the 2017 season, Landry became the first player in NFL history to have 100+ receptions and not reach 1,000 yards receiving. He ended with 112 receptions and 987 yards. His 8.8 yards per reception was also the lowest in history by a receiver with more than 100 receptions.
These numbers are both impressive, and a bit alarming. It’s hard to tell whether his low average is based on his own play, or his usage by the Miami system. Although he was extremely consistent when it came to receptions, he never seemed to put up big yards in their offense.
It feels like a bit of a stretch to say he found a better situation when he signed with Cleveland, but for his personal style, it may be true. Not only has he found an offense in need of a WR1, but his average has increased to 12.6 yards/reception during his six games with the Browns. His style and passion fit perfectly in Cleveland, and he has the chance to team up with a young exciting QB in Baker Mayfield. Although he has been slowed up slightly this season by injuries, he seems to have found a comfortable spot in the offense.
His number of targets in their offense may be in question, as the team shifts to adapt with the emergence of Baker Mayfield as QB1, who seems to find the open man no matter who it is. Although Mayfield likes to spread the ball around, it can be assumed that with his skill set, Landry will find himself as a leader in the Browns receiving group for years to come. His tenacity makes it easy to want to play alongside him, and Cleveland’s desperate need for a culture change can only benefit from a player with his mindset. He wants to win, and they NEED to win. Currently, they sit at 2-3-1 on the year, which is already a huge improvement from the last two seasons, and they’re heading into a week seven matchup with Tampa Bay. It’s early, but things are looking up for Landry and the Browns.
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