Dec 2, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets free safety LaRon Landry (30) intercepts a pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at Metlife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
When LaRon Landry was drafted by the Washington Redskins, it was expected that he would pair with Sean Taylor to form one of the best young safety duos in the NFL. Well, that duo tragically had their time cut short when Taylor lost his life, and Landry struggled to stay healthy after three wildly successful years with the Redskins.
Landry was let go by Washington and basically signed as an afterthought with the New York Jets, which turned out to be a huge career revitalization for him. With the Jets, Landry had a career-high 100 tackles with two interceptions and four forced fumbles, making plays all over the field. That kind of play is what attracted the Colts, and they made signing Landry a priority this offseason.
With the Colts, Landry received a four-year, $24 million contract. That’s a pretty rich contract for a safety, but getting a player of Landry’s caliber at $6M per season is a pretty solid get for the Colts. There are a lot worse ways to spend your money, even if Landry is a health risk.
If Landry is healthy, he gives the Colts a player defensively that could challenge for the title of best safety in the league. He is that good. In his earlier days with the Redskins, Landry was considered a defensive player of the year candidate, and he could be the same with the Colts after proving last year with the Jets that he still has it, even after two injury-riddled seasons.
Robert Mathis had a great quote about what Landry brings to the Colts’ defense:
“He brings ugly,” outside linebacker Robert Mathis offered prior to the afternoon workout. “He brings a streak to us that we haven’t had.”
Head coach Chuck Pagano is pretty impressed by Landry’s physical stature:
“His arms are bigger than anybody on the planet,” he said. “He looks like the Incredible Hulk.”
As a safety, Landry has a reputation as one of the biggest and baddest in the NFL, and he’s ready to hit some people for the Colts. In fact, he’s already decked veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne at OTAs. But the biggest thing Landry brings to the Colts is a team-first mentality. He is not out to earn accolades or be the best player on the team, he simply wants to help out in any way he possibly can, but where he’ll really help the Colts is his veteran presence in the defensive backfield, something they have really needed in a player of his caliber.
“I have high expectations,” Landry said. “I’m just looking to win. I’m not really a ‘self’ type of guy. It’s a team effort.”
Landry is a welcome addition to the Colts’ defense, and a significant upgrade in the backfield. He is a big, rangy safety who can knock some guys out. The Colts will find great ways to use Landry and make him as effective this year as he was with the Jets a year ago.