Jarvis Landry’s future with the Cleveland Browns is up in the air, and the organization faces a difficult decision.
Jarvis Landry, a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, drew some attention this week with a Twitter thread about how he played through various injuries during the 2021 season. In 12 games, he finished with career-lows in catches (52) and yards (570), indicating that he was banged up and limited.
Landry also stated that he wants to stay with the team next season in order to be healthy in his contract’s final year and that he has “placed the ball in (the team’s) court” in that regard. For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Jake Trotter wrote that Landry “feels like” he’s finished in Cleveland.
Landry has a strong career CV that includes five Pro Bowl appearances (consecutively from 2015 to 2019), two seasons with 110 or more catches (2015 and 2017), and three seasons with more than 1,100 yards (2015, 2016, and 2019).
Jarvis Landry faces a difficult question from the Browns.
As previously stated, Landry is in the final year of a five-year, $75.5 million contract. According to Over The Cap, his salary cap hit for 2022 is expected to be around $16.4 million. That’s a top-12 cap hit among all wideouts in the NFL, according to Spotrac, and the team’s second-highest cap hit.
The Browns have a projected cap space of $27.59 million right now, so they aren’t short on cash. However, if some are good, more is better, and removing Landry altogether would free up just under $14.9 million in cap space, leaving the remaining $1.5 million in dead money.
Cleveland will almost probably be on the lookout for wide receivers this offseason, whether through free agency, trades, or the draft. Landry’s status will have no bearing on that activity, and Rashard Higgins is a free agent. Overall, they have a lot of problems at wide receiver, and Landry’s presence as a dependable experienced presence is certainly on their radar.
But, as Landry approaches his 30th season, a salary charge in the elite echelon of wide receivers, north of $16 million, is a no-go for Cleveland. To stay, he’ll have to take a pay cut, either in the form of an outright pay cut or a contract extension that adds a year or two to lessen the cap cost.
The Browns have the leverage card of being able to just dismiss Landry and free a large piece of cap space as they approach him about a wage cut.