NEW YORK (CBSDC/AP) — Former Washington Redskins safety LaRon Landry wants to prove he is healthy before he gets a lengthy contract.
So the versatile safety signed a one-year contract with the New York Jets with the idea that a longer deal and bigger bucks could come down the road.
“Coming off two seasons kind of playing half the season, I think I owed that to myself and whichever organization I went with, giving me a one-year deal to solidify this injury is healed and I can play a full season,” Landry said Tuesday.
“It is really more so like me challenging myself. I wanted the one-year deal to prove to everybody and to show them that this injury is healed and I am able to play to the best of my ability. When I am healed, and I can perform the way I know I can perform, the sky is the limit for me. Unstoppable.”
Landry finished each of the past two seasons on injured reserve and played in just 17 games. He damaged his left Achilles tendon in 2010 and last season, he struggled with a strained hamstring, a pulled groin and again with an Achilles problem.
Landry said he opted not to have surgery on the Achilles tendon injuries last year because “it wasn’t really an Achilles issue” but a bone problem. He insisted the Jets’ medical staff is well aware of the injuries and the healing process. He instead opted to undergo alternative treatments for the problem.
Landry promised he will participate in offseason workouts and minicamp “as much as possible.”
“I am working out and able to do exercises,” he said. “We have a plan, the coaches and the medical staff have a plan and I will be ready when it’s time to be ready.”
He was attracted to the Jets in part because his brother, Dawan, played for Jets coach Rex Ryan when both were with Baltimore. Ryan was the Ravens’ defensive coordinator before he was hired by New York.
“Talking to my brother … it is a player-driven organization, so it kind of was a no-brainer,” Landry said. “And the medical staff is knowledgeable about my injury and what is going on with my body.”
Landry spent his first five NFL seasons with the Redskins after he was picked No. 6 overall in the 2007 draft out of LSU. He played at both free and strong safety and was a two-time Pro Bowl alternate. The hard-hitting Landry could be used as a blitzing safety in Ryan’s aggressive defense and be a solid presence against the run.
He also will be counted on to cover New England’s two outstanding tight ends, All-Pro Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. The Jets, like many teams, struggled against both of them last season.
Landry could have avoided such a challenge by joining the Patriots, but he decided on the Jets instead.
“I can play strong or free,” he said. “My main thing is I like to be in the mix. With this defense I can do both, be able to fly around and play ball. You got to change it up, especially with Tom Brady, going up twice against him. This defense allows you to play both and mix it up.”
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