Whoever is throwing the football for the Cleveland Browns in 2018 will surely be happy to have Jarvis Landry on the other end.
Cleveland acquired Landry via trade on Friday with the Miami Dolphins for a 2018 fourth-round draft pick, and a 2019 seventh-round draft pick after Landry signed his one-year, $15.982 million franchise tag tender with Miami hours before the trade was first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The Browns are also reportedly working on a new long-term contract for Landry, with the expectation that both sides will reach common ground on an extension, per reports. The trade will be made official on March 14, which marks the start of the NFL’s new league year.
Landry provides a significant upgrade to a Browns wide receiving core that is seeking help, and stability. While Josh Gordon was finally able to return from suspension in 2017, the need for a player like Landry was evident. Now, Landry, Gordon, and Corey Coleman will provide the Browns with a solid, young wide receiving trio that has some potential to still grow. Also included in this group is tight end David Njoku, who put together a solid 2017 campian.
In the end, the Browns and the Baltimore Ravens were the only two serious suitors for Landry’s services. While it was widely-reported that the Chicago Bears had interest in trading for Landry, it seems more likely for the team to open up their checkbooks for free agent wide receivers such as Allen Robinson, Sammy Watkins, and Marquis Lee in the coming days.
Since his NFL debut in 2014, ESPN notes that only two wide receivers have caught more passes than Landry’s 400. Those two receivers are Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown (471), and Atlanta Falcons star Julio Jones (411). The Browns receiving core will also now have a better percentage of passes hauled in thanks to Landry’s 71% career catch rate.
It was a busy day for the Browns, who also acquired a quarterback via trade in Tyrod Taylor from the Buffalo Bills. Cleveland also shipped out a quarterback today, by trading DeShone Kizer to the Green Bay Packers to likely serve as the primary backup to Aaron Rodgers.
It seems likely that Taylor will be the quarterback for the Browns in 2018, with the plan being to draft a quarterback. There were previous indications that free agent quarterback A.J. McCarron could sign with the Browns to help make-up for Cleveland botching their trade for him in October, but McCarron will likely want to start in 2018. The Browns could take a quarterback like Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, or Lamar Jackson in the draft and have him prep behind the scenes to get ready Taylor runs the show for a year. That could be the best plan of action for the Browns, because while their recent transactions show a positive trend, it’s going to take penitence to turn the team around from an 0-16 2017 season.
Speaking of 2017, Landry had 112 catches for 987 yards and 9 touchdowns last season, bringing his career totals to those previously mentioned 400 catches, 4,038 yards, and 22 touchdowns. The 25-year-old Landry is a three-time Pro Bowler, and should have more Pro Bowl appearances coming his way in the future.
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