The Cleveland Browns have parted ways Jarvis Landry, releasing the veteran wide receiver days after trading for Amari Cooper.
Landry’s release was first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN. The move frees up more than $14 million in cap space for the Browns, who will be looking to add another receiver via free agency or the draft.
The Bills and Chiefs were two teams noted as having an interest in Landry by NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
Landry was given permission to seek a trade following the Browns’ deal for Cooper, although it was likely a thin market. Landry will turn 30 next season and carried a cap hit of more than $16 million. He’ll likely draw some significant attention as a free agent due to his ability to gobble up catches out of the slot.
Landry had made five straight Pro Bowls from 2015-2019, recording more than 100 catches on two occasions and breaking the 1,000-yard mark three times.
Landry saw his production drop off last year as he dealt with his first trip to the IR with a knee issue. He posted 52 catches for 570 yards and two touchdowns last season — all career-lows.
Landry Said he Put the Ball in Cleveland’s Court
Landry sounded off on his future in Cleveland in a tweetstorm this offseason, saying he wanted to return but was putting the ball in the Browns’ court. In a way, it was getting ahead of the story, with the veteran receiver knowing that the team would be offering him a restructured deal.
“I put the ball in CLE court by telling them I would like to stay but if not then I’m confident enough in myself to be a better healthy me this year and moving forward to helping do my part in winning a championship elsewhere,” Landry tweeted on February 22.
Landry took particular issue with the narrative that he’s injury-prone, considering he started every game during his first six seasons in the league. It wasn’t until this past season that he missed significant time, sitting out with a knee injury he said he came back early from.
“Reality behind all this is I came back to play in the best shape of my life, I got hurt week 2 with a high grade MCL sprain, partial quad tear and bone bruise. Then came back way to early and ended up staying hurt the entire season. You never heard me mention anything about it,” Landry tweeted. “Before this year I missed 0 games. So push y’all narrative, it’s noted.”
Browns Hoping Cooper Trade Doesn’t Mirror OBJ Experience
The Browns’ trade for Cooper comes a season after the team decided to end the Odell Beckham Jr. experiment. Beckham and quarterback Baker Mayfield never built on-field chemistry, which led to his eventual release. After struggling with the Browns, Beckham went on to be a significant contributor for the Super Bowl champion Rams.
The price for Cooper was basically a fifth-round pick, with the teams also swapping sixth-round picks in the deal. The reason for that was because of Cooper’s salary, which is $20 million for next season.
Cooper should fit well into Kevin Stefanski’s system and will be staying busy. According to ESPN Stats & Information data, he ranked eighth in targets (428) among receivers, seventh in receptions (292), ninth in receiving yards (3,893) and ninth in receiving touchdowns (27) while in Dallas the past three-plus seasons.