Writing On The Wall For Landry?

Washington Commanders

Word around Redskins Nation is that the Redskins are likely to slap the franchise tag on Fred Davis. Could the move adversely spell the end of the roller coaster Redskins ride for safety LaRon Landry?

The franchise tag for Fred Davis will likely be about $5.4 Million, whereas, it will be about $6.2 Million to franchise Landry. Not a lot between the two numbers. Ironically, they’re both pretty steep prices to pay for players who weren’t on the field at the end of 2011. Davis is a lot more likely to see the field on a regular basis in 2012 though – there’s a better chance of Freddie remaining blunt-free than of Landry remaining injury free in my opinion.

Injuries are obviously the biggest concern with Landry, who has been out or hindered for much of the last two NFL seasons. Previous to the Achilles injury in 2010, Landry was having a Pro Bowl season, and easily his best season in the NFL. All of Redskins Nation watched and waited for the return of the true Dirty 30 this past season, but it just never panned out. Banged up from beginning to end, injuries kept him from ever really finding a groove, or making much impact; and of course, he finished the season on injured reserve again in 2011. All of this despite showing up to camp looking ready to contend for a body building title.

There was a very interesting article yesterday, in which Landry at least gives his side of the offseason surgery decisions that he has made, or lack thereof. Give it a look, it’s very worth reading in it’s entirety. According to Landry, the surgery being suggested by the Redskins could potentially sideline him for a year and a half, and would be extremely invasive. It’s not hard to understand why Landry would like to pursue alternative methods of treatment, which is what he is doing, but it’s also not hard to understand the Redskins, or any other team’s trepidation, in inking such a player to a large guaranteed contract without that surgery.

Landry categorically states in the article that he would like to remain in Washington, and that he thinks that his preferred method of treatment can have him ready in time for 2012. The treatment worked for a shoulder that surgery had been previously suggested for, so Landry thinks that his body can respond favorably again.

Fair enough.

So a small one-year contract should be cool with you right LaRon? One that is laced with incentives based on both performance and appearance?

Yeah right.

The Redskins aren’t the only team in the NFL, and I think someone will be willing to take a chance on Landry and toss him a little extra guaranteed money. A team with fewer holes to fill, might be willing to take a bigger per person chance on the safety, than the Redskins can really afford to at this point.

So we might find out just how much Landry wants to remain in Washington. There will likely be other suitors.

That isn’t to say that I begrudge him earning the best living possible for himself, but if he is confident of both his health, and wanting to stay here, then he could very well work out a deal that works for both parties, and in which both sides assume some of the risk. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to give him a base of $3-4 Million, and throw in a roster bonus of $3-4 Million on December 1st, 2012, if Landry has played 75% of the games (or something to that effect – merely for illustration purposes).

So there is still a possibility that Landry is a Redskin in 2012, if he wants to be here.

That’s why the franchise tag would have worked well for Landry. While you agree to pay him a ‘top 5 average at the position’ salary, you’re able to lock him into a one-year arrangement. No one year agreement is going to cost that much in the broadest of schemes. It’s when you start extending out that deal, and the money in that deal, that the risk factor goes way up.

Let’s face it, even if Landry does sign with Washington, and he is ready to start the 2012 season, can the Redskins really afford to not have another starting caliber safety in place as well? Could they rely fully on second-year man DeJon Gomes if Landry goes down again?

There’s a lot standing in the way of Landry playing for the Washington Redskins in 2012, and Redskins Nation looks on with bated breath to see what will happen with the hard-hitting safety.

One thing’s for sure in my opinion though, the moment that it’s officially announced that Fred Davis has been franchise tagged, your number 30 jersey takes one more step towards the back of your closet.

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