2012 NFL Free Agents: New York Jets Sign Safety LaRon Landry

Jonathan Peralta@itsjperaltaContributor IIIMarch 19, 2012

As expected, the New York Jets have addressed the much-needed safety position via free agency. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, they have signed 27-year-old former Washington Redskins safety LaRon Landry. The contract is reportedly for one year and $4 million.

The Jets needed to take care of their safety issue, among several other problems, and make an upgrade. Jim Leonhard is an unrestricted free agent and coming off a knee surgery—that's Leonhard's second serious leg injury in two seasons—so he may not be back with the team. Safety Eric Smith's coverage is...well, it's mediocre.

As Reggie Nelson spurned the Jets by re-signing with the Cincinnati Bengals (as reported by Schefter), New York had no choice but to aggressively pursue Landry.

Whether or not the Jets decide to part ways with either Leonhard or Smith remains to be seen, but adding Landry to the roster is taking a step forward in improving the area.

The good thing about the former sixth overall pick is that he's a starting-caliber safety, with very good size and exceptional tackling skills.

In Landry's five-year career in the NFL, he has 383 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 31 passes defended.

The main concern about this signing is Landry's durability; he is injury-prone, coming off two injury-riddled seasons. So this pickup comes with a risk.

The other question that comes into play is his coverage ability, and that's where the Jets need help. This is where the Reggie Nelson signing would have been ideal. He's better in coverage, as Landry is not known for his ball-hawking skills. But it must be better than Eric Smith's coverage abilities, right?

If Landry can stay healthy, this will be a decent fit for both the Jets and the safety.

I give this pickup a B.

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