Browns reportedly giving Jarvis Landry over $75M in 'monster' five-year extension
Cleveland has a wide receiver for the long haul under contract after trading for him
According to multiple reports, they are taking care of that before the draft and will be locking down Landry to a five-year deal. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media called it a "monster" extension, and ESPN's Josina Anderson, who first reported the news, said it will check in at more than $15 million per year.
Rapoport pegs the full value at the deal at over $75 million, with $47 million guaranteed, which is not an unsubstantial amount of money for a guy who averaged less than 10 yards per catch last year.
To put that into context, here's a breakdown of the top receiver contracts in the NFL (with help from Over The Cap):
Total Guaranteed Money
*Assuming the reported numbers are true, anyway. The $47 million guaranteed is a TON, but we don't know if that's fully guaranteed just yet. Also of note: Brandin Cooks is going to jump Landry on this list if the Rams hammer out a deal this offseason, and there is a very good chance that Dez Bryant drops off the list regardless of any other extensions, because the Cowboys are likely to make him take a pay cut this offseason.
Regardless, Landry is going to be one of the five highest-paid receivers in football for at least some stretch of time, which is pretty wild. He's a slot receiver. A good slot receiver, but he's not a true No. 1 weapon.
Cleveland was in a bit of an overpay situation both in terms of the trade and the contract, though. Cleveland is loaded with significant draft assets and looks to be on the right path for a rebuild, but it's still a rebuilding franchise. It would have been difficult for the Browns to attract a top-tier wide receiver without acquiring one via trade and then paying him significant money.
You can't make an apples-to-apples comparison with the A.J. Green or Julio Jones contracts either.and has just two years remaining on his deal. . They'll blow past the Landry deal faster than they blow past cornerbacks the next time around, and they love seeing Landry make this kind of money.
Landry led the league in catches in 2017, recording 112. But he averaged only 8.8 yards per catch, which is almost impressive because of how hard it is to do. If you record over 100 catches and don't top 1,000 yards, well, that's something. He does have two 1,100-yard seasons under his belt (2015 and 2016) and wasn't playing in a high-octane offense last year, so maybe there's something to build on here. He also owns the record for most catches by any player in NFL history through four seasons.
Maybe the larger point here in paying Landry involves the eventual growth of the quarterback position in Cleveland. The Browns have Tyrod Taylor under contract for next year, but almost assuredly will be drafting a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick. That quarterback is going to need as many viable weapons and safety nets as possible. Landry will be one who can pile up short-yardage catches for the foreseeable future.
And it's also entirely possible the Browns front office and coaching staff saw a talented player miscast in Miami, someone who can expand his game with a broader offensive role and put up even better numbers. They're certainly going to be paying him for that, and it wouldn't be the first time a slot receiver (hello, Wes Welker) left the Dolphins and succeeded at a higher level with a new franchise.
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