Although the Cleveland Browns could save $15.1 million dollars by cutting Jarvis Landry this offseason, a case is presented why he might stay after all.
Although the consensus view is that the Cleveland Browns have no choice but to cut Jarvis Landry at the end of this season because his guaranteed money runs out — and his contract is too freaking expensive — upon further review, unique circumstances may dictate otherwise.
2022 may be the most expensive year for free agents in NFL history, and free-agent contracts are going to be so shocking that a one-year deal for $15.1 million for an aging wide receiver won’t be as objectionable as it was even one year ago. The two sides might be able to hammer out a compromise deal for a somewhat lower figure in exchange for some partial guarantees.
In addition, if Landry completes his contract, the Browns will qualify for a compensatory draft pick when he leaves in 2023, probably a fourth-round pick. Landry will provide his own low-cost replacement when he leaves and that’s a better deal than running out and squandering money on another overpaid free agent in the worst market in NFL history.
To review, Landry signed a $75.5 million, five-year deal under the John Dorsey regime at a time when the Browns were in the midst of a 17-game losing streak. The team had to pay super high wages under those conditions, but Dorsey was sitting on a $59 million dollar surplus accumulated by his predecessor, the draconian Sashi Brown. In any case, it was a tremendous deal for a player who had been to three Pro Bowls.
In 2021, however, his yardage totals are declining, and he’s missing games due to injury, and the Browns could recover $15.1 million dollars by cutting him. The financial incentive for Cleveland is obvious.
If the Browns want to cut Landry, that’s okay, but be warned, it’s not so simple to replace him with that speedy free-agent wide receiver that they have been coveting. The next page explains why the 2022 free-agent market will be the worst, most expensive market in history due to the one-time influx of 250 percent more cash than usual.
Hence any 2022 free agent option is likely to be absurdly overpriced and will represent a multi-year commitment. 2022 is a good year to keep current players and avoid major free agents.