If the San Francisco 49ers are committed to Trey Lance as their starting quarterback in 2022, it’s vital that the Niners have plenty of offensive weapons on hand.
Right now, they boast a pretty impressive trio across multiple positions: wide receiver Deebo Samuel, tight end George Kittle and running back Elijah Mitchell. The pass-catching depth behind Samuel and Kittle is decent, but there’s a clear lack of experience.
Young receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings have contributed, with the former hitting 826 yards and five touchdowns in the regular season. Jennings even came up for a handful of big plays in the postseason, but one could make the argument that the Niners could still use a quality receiver.
Even Samuel is only entering his fourth season. He’s learned a thing or two, but Kittle is really the closest thing to a true veteran pass-catcher, and he still has to split duties as a tight end. The only problem with adding a veteran is the price. As of right now, San Francisco only has $2.95 million in cap space per Spotrac.
However, the right player for the right price is still available, and that can come in the form of five-time Pro Bowl Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
ALL the latest 49ers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on 49ers newsletter here!
Landry Wants Out of Cleveland
After four seasons as a Brown, it feels pretty evident that Landry is open to the idea of leaving Cleveland. As Heavy’s J.R. De Groote covered, Landry says it’s the Browns move going forward.
“My media availability didn’t happen because I was focused on getting on the field as healthy as possible during the week and after games,” Landry wrote. “Strategic plan was set in place to be followed. 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.”
In 2022, Landry is set to be a $16.38 million cap hit, but none of its guaranteed. Getting around $14.88 million in cap space opened up by cutting Landry feels like a tempting move, and Landry’s comment above only makes it feel more and more likely.
Plus, his comment mentions his desire to win a Super Bowl. The former LSU Tiger will turn 30 before 2022 ends, and he knows his window of playing time is closing. Fortunately, the 49ers’ window to win a title appears to still be open.
49ers Could Get Landry for Cheap
As Landry himself mentions in his tweets, he dealt with multiple injuries this past year, which hindered his stats. In 12 games, Landry totaled 570 yards and just two touchdowns. While unfortunate for the receiver, it sets up well for the 49ers or any other potentially interested teams.
It puts Landry in a “prove it” position as he enters his ninth season, and that’s where San Francisco can benefit. Rather than a full-price tag of somewhere in the tens of millions, Landry may be up to take less money to be with a competitor, similar to what his former teammate Odell Beckham Jr. did with the Los Angeles Rams.
Beckham went for an incentive contract, and ended up getting $3 million in playoff incentives after playing for dirt cheap. If Landry could make the difference, the 49ers would be happy to get a similar deal.
It’d be hard to expect a veteran minimum situation for the current Browns WR, but somewhere south of $5 million is reasonable. Landry wouldn’t just be a veteran presence, this is a player that totaled 7028 receiving yards and 35 touchdowns in his seven previous seasons before 2021.
For that price, the 49ers should at least make the call.