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Revisiting the Browns decision to release Jarvis Landry

While loved by teammates, how does the decision look now?

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason, the biggest move surrounding the Cleveland Browns that did not include a quarterback was the release of WR Jarvis Landry. While the team also moved on from other veterans like J.C. Tretter, Austin Hooper and Case Keenum, Landry was the big name and the biggest contract.

In releasing Landry, the Browns saved bout $15 million in salary cap space. They also lost a player that was believed to change the culture and, as we heard all week, his teammates loved. While there were reports that Cleveland tried to bring Landry back, he instead chose to sign with his home state team, the New Orleans Saints.

As the Saints come marching into frigid FirstEnergy Stadium, revisiting the Browns decision to release Landry just made sense. This piece was planned for earlier in the week until Landry showed up as a DNP on the injury report. Now, instead of projecting what the rest of the season might look like, we know Landry’s season is over.

With his first year out of Cleveland in the books, what did Landry’s season look like:

  • He signed a one-year, incentive-laden deal
  • Landry made $3 million this season
  • The receiver missed out on all of the $3 million in incentives (receptions, TDs, playing time, playoff birth)
  • He played in nine games and 301 snaps this year
  • Landry had career lows with 25 receptions, 272 yards and one touchdown

While it is unrealistic to assume everything would have gone exactly the same way had the Browns kept him, Landry’s season in New Orleans validates the decision to move on from him. With Landry gone, Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones and David Njoku have mostly thrived in the passing offense. While Landry may have added quality to that group, he and Njoku often work in the same areas of the field.

Jarvis Landry was a huge piece of Cleveland’s move out of the laughingstock of the league to competitive. While the 2022 season will likely not include a playoff spot, that the expectations for the Browns are that high, now, is partially due to Landry’s arrival.

It was a joy to watch Landry both on and off the field but GM Andrew Berry and company made a wise choice to move forward without him.