NFL free agency 2013: LaRon Landry in for a payday

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The Jets made a quality signing last offseason in LaRon Landry. Now the question is, can they keep him?

Few signings this time last year proved to be better moves than the New York Jets' signing of LaRon Landry.

Landry, coming over from the Washington Redskins after playing there his first five seasons, had his best campaign yet. In 2012, Landry made his first Pro Bowl after totaling 99 tackles, two interceptions and four forced fumbles. His performance went a long way to soften the blow of losing cornerback Darrelle Revis for the season.

After struggling through his last two seasons in the nation's capital injured, playing just 15 of 32 possible games during that stretch, it appeared Landry was on the way down. He promptly proved that wasn't the case.

In what was a very tough season for Gang Green, Landry was one of the few bright spots and now will be paid for his production, but maybe not in New York.

Landry is known as a physical presence; a hard hitter who can make big plays and often shows up on the highlight reel. But the knock on Landry is that sometimes he goes for the flashy hit and misses a tackle entirely. He also struggles in coverage at times, allowing the sixth most yards per play in coverage last year.

Still, he helped the Jets and himself during his one season in New York. Now Landry will seek a larger contract than the Jets can afford for a player of his limitations. He is looking for a contract in the $6 million per year range; too high of a number for the Jets, but one he may find on the open market.

The Jets have all kinds of salary cap problems thanks to now-fired general manager Mike Tannenbaum, who signed disappointing quarterback Mark Sanchez and malcontent wide receiver Santonio Holmes to big contracts with high cap numbers.

Should Landry hit the open market, he will have no shortage of teams lining up for his services. The question is, what are they willing to pay? For a team with the right system Landry very well could be worth near the $6 million he seeks.

A few teams that will be in play are the St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers. All of these organizations need a safety and have some money to spend that could attract Landry.

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NFL news: Roger Goodell terrified, Shawne Merriman retires and the latest on free agency

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