It’s official. LaRon Landry will end his second consecutive season on the injured reserve list, according to The Washington Post.
Thanks to an Achilles’ injury that has plagued the 27-year-old Redskins’ safety all season, Landry will be forced to cut his 2011 season short in order to heal and likely undergo surgery.
The injury isn’t only a detriment to the team, but also to Landry’s future as a Pro Bowl safety. Although Landry started last season by ripping through opposing offenses and earning some Defensive Player of the Year nods through just the first eight weeks of the year, he hasn’t been able to stay on the field ever since.
To make things more complicated, Landry is also in the final year of his deal with the Redskins. So the question arises of what to do with LaRon Landry at season’s end?
The Redskins basically have three options. First, the front office could have confidence in Landry’s recovery this offseason and re-sign him like they probably planned on doing before the injury bug crept up. Second, they could choose to not re-sign him, allowing Landry to play for another team next season and beyond. Or, finally, the Redskins could franchise Landry and have him stick around for one more season with a sort of “show-me” contract.
Of the three, I’d say that the franchise tag is probably the smartest move by the front office. However, a team is only given one franchise tag and Landry doesn’t happen to be the only Redskins player set to become a free agent at the end of this season.
With that to consider, the front office would also have to think about Landry’s reaction to a one-year deal or franchise tag. For a team that is known for not signing their first-round draft picks to big deals, Landry has to already be thinking about such a situation. And if Landry is slapped with the franchise tag, would that ultimately end any chance of a new deal after the 2012 season is over?
As much as fans like Landry and his style of play, and as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. The plan for Landry in Washington was to play alongside the late Sean Taylor in order to create one of the deadliest safety tandems in the league. For obvious reasons, things didn’t work out as planned and it would take defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and his 3-4 scheme two seasons ago to return Landry back to his natural position.
And I’m not saying that I’m not a fan of Landry myself. In fact, LaRon Landry has been one of my favorite players since joining the team. He’s explosive in every facet of football, his athleticism is second to none and he’s one of the fiercest competitors in the game. That being said, I’m also very much aware of the changes that are occuring within the Redskins organization.
I don’t believe there’s any question as to whether or not Shanahan and Haslett are fans of LaRon Landry–you’d be crazy not to want a guy like that on your team. However, I think both coaches are understanding of the fact that cutting losses and moving forward are all part of the game. And in the case of the current coaching staff under the direction of an owner like Dan Snyder, there’s absolutely no time to waste.