The 2018 Cleveland Browns are attempting to rebound from a zero-win campaign last year to respectability. One of the key facets to their plan has been an injection of known veteran players who can immediately contribute as starters. Among the proven veterans was wide receiver Jarvis Landry who was acquired in a trade with the Miami Dolphins for a 2018 fourth-round selection and a 2019 seventh-round selection. The Browns appear to view the 25 year old as a long-term piece as Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network is now reporting the team is close to finalizing a massive five-year deal for $75.5 million with $47 million guaranteed.
The #Browns and WR Jarvis Landry are going to agree to terms on a 5-year, $75.5M extension, sources say. He gets $47M guaranteed… crazy for those who considered him a slot receiver.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 12, 2018
There are a few ways to view this deal. One is that the contract pays him as if he is an elite wide receiver in the NFL. Landry has been primarily a slot receiver, which is not considered as valuable as an outside position by many. Yet, Landry’s reported contract means that he has more guaranteed money than any other wide receiver in the NFL (Mike Evans of Tampa Bay the second most at $38 million in current guarantees remaining).1 Landry will also make the fifth most per season and has the second most guarantees per season (his $9.4 million in guarantees falls just behind the one-year deal of Donte Moncrief at $9.6 million).
However, another view sees the sure-handed Landry has a career catch rate above 70%, while making 100 receptions per season. He has also been healthy as he has not missed a game in his four-year career. The NFL is also moving more towards shotgun and spread concepts being borrowed from the high school and college games, which can emphasize the underneath routes in a similar fashion to the old West Coast offense. Not to mention having a receiver such as Landry is both complementary to the deep speed option of Josh Gordon on the outside as well as essential in developing whichever rookie quarterback is selected at No. 1 overall in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft.
The contract is also not quite as bad as it seems at first blush. The Browns were on the hook for a one-year, $16 million contract, so the new deal extends it out to essentially three-years and $47 million. An expensive deal, for sure, but as WFNY’s Craig Lyndall noted after the initial trade, it is just Jimmy Haslam’s money.
- All numbers from https://overthecap.com/position/wide-receiver [↩]