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Safety First: Jets Bring Landry into the Fold

Posted Mar 19, 2012

Updated 6:10 p.m. ET

The Jets spent an extended weekend of work trying to secure the deep middle of their pass defense for the season ahead.

The process continued throughout today and finally the Green & White's labors paid off. This afternoon, unrestricted free agent LaRon Landry, the Redskins' muscular, hard-hitting five-year safety and former sixth pick of the draft, has joined the Jets in 2012.

“After spending time with the organization as a whole, I just felt that signing with the Jets was the right thing to do,” Landry said after signing his new deal at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. “When you factor in that Rex coached my brother and the family-oriented demeanor, it just felt like home. It made the decision real easy for me. They have a top-notch support staff and facility and I really feel that I can prosper here.”

Landry's older brother, Dawan, entered the NFL in 2006 as Baltimore's fifth-round selection and was coached by then-Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan for his first three seasons in the league.

The Jets were also talking over the weekend with Reggie Nelson, who started for Cincinnati the previous two seasons. The Bengals retained Nelson's services with word shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday that he agreed to a deal to return to Cincy.

A line of thinking was that if the Jets missed out on one of those two safeties, they still had a very good shot at bringing in the other to help them take on New England's Rob Gronkowski/Aaron Hernandez tight end tandem and the other top TEs they'll meet in the months ahead.

And that proved to be the case when Landry, who also reportedly was being pursued by the 'Skins, Bears and Eagles, visited the Jets on Sunday and remained in the building today to agree to terms on his new contract with the Jets. Details of the deal were not released.

Landry (6'0", 227) started out his NFL life as Washington's first-round pick, sixth overall, out of LSU in the 2007 draft. He started 47 of the Redskins' 48 games in 2007-09, but then Achilles woes limited him to 17 starts the past two seasons combined.

But as Landry said on his Twitter page in the past several days: "fluke injuries happen when u only know 1 speed with no brakes." He also has said that his foot is completely healthy for this next stage of his career.

He had 64 regular-season starts/appearances in his five 'Skins seasons. He has four career interceptions and 32 pass defenses. He also racked up six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries, 376 total tackles — an average of 75.2 per season even with his missed time — 5.5 sacks and 32 pass breakups.

The Jets were getting low in safety numbers. Jim Leonhard and Brodney Pool became unrestricted free agents a week ago (with Pool already having signed with the Cowboys and late 2011 signee Gerald Alexander was recently released. Eric Smith and Tracy Wilson were the only experienced safeties on the roster.

But now LaRon Landry has been added to the mix and the Jets defense will be all set to give a little H-E-Double L to opposing TEs and passing offenses in the season ahead.

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