It is safe to say that the 2018 regular season is not going the way that wide receiver Jarvis Landry imagined.
Landry was acquired in an off-season trade with the Miami Dolphins and quickly signed to a five-year contract extension that included $47 million in guaranteed money. While that may seem like a lot of money for a player coming off a season where he averaged just 8.8 yards per reception, there was some excitement because Landry caught 400 passes in his first four seasons in the league.
The belief among many Browns fans was that Landry would flourish in Cleveland after being “misused” with the Dolphins.
That isn’t how the season has played out for Landry, however, even though he does lead the Browns in receptions (60) and receiving yards (630) heading into Sunday’s road game against the Houston Texans. (Although his catch rate of 54 percent is hard to understand for a player that had good hands in Miami.)
At his current pace, Landry will finish the year with 87 receptions (his lowest total since his rookie season in 2014), 916 receiving yards (the third time in his five NFL seasons where he will be below 1,000 yards) and just three touchdowns (the lowest of his NFL career).
It would be understandable if Landry was discouraged by the individual results, but that does not seem to be the case for the simple reason that the Browns are slowly learning how to win games. As Landry explained to clevelandbrowns.com:
“At the end of the day, the end goal is to win. That has been our focus. That has been our purpose. We have accomplished that these last few weeks. We want to keep it going.
“As a competitor, I want to do my part. I do not want to be one of those guys that came here and got a check and did not earn it. I want to earn my check. To some degree, but at the same time, it is translating into wins. For me, that is what is most important. I think that when it comes, it will come and I will make the plays when they do.”
Landry may not be living up to the hype that was created, through no fault of his own, after he arrived from Miami. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he is having a bad season.
If he hits those projected numbers for the season, Landry’s 87 receptions would tie him with Josh Gordon (2013) for the second-most in a single season in franchise history. And if Landry hits 916 receiving yards, that would land him just outside the top 20 for a single season in franchise history and make him just the 13th different wide receiver in franchise history to top 900 yards in a single season.
Landry may not be having the type of season that some fans believed he would.
But the season he is having might end up being not that bad.