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The Case For Jarvis Landry

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As free agency creeps closer, much of the media is speculating this possible signing for the Bears.

Pro Bowl Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Before we even discuss this possibility, I would like to make one thing clear. This article isn’t to discuss how much he’s worth in terms of guarantees and salaries; rather, it’s all about what he would provide for the Chicago Bears. With that statement made, I will be focusing on why he would be a fit for the Bears.

So, who exactly is Jarvis Landry, some would ask? He is only the most productive receiver in NFL history through his first four years in the league. His stat-line through this period: 400 receptions, 4,038 yards, and 22 TDs with an average of 10.1 yards per reception. In recognition of his accomplishments, he’s been voted to three consecutive pro bowls. His 2017 season is considered by some his best, as where his yards and YAC were career lows, he also led the NFL in total receptions (112) and had a career high with 9 TDs.

In direct comparison to the Bears’ receiving corps, the only player that comes close to Landry’s total is Kendall Wright. He has 3,858 career receiving yards in six total seasons. When you remove Wright from the equation, Landry’s production is comparable to the entire depth chart’s career totals. Where he has 4,038 yards to the corps’ cumulative 5,439 yards — this is including Markus Wheaton’s totals — he almost matches their cumulative TD total of 24. Needless to say, his overall production would be welcomed with open arms to a team desperate for reliable receivers.

Now, the ultimate question, is how he will fit in with Matt Nagy’s schemes. Yes, he doesn’t have the speed most of the Chiefs’ featured receivers did last season. And, he’s not the biggest receiver in the league, standing in at 5’11” and 208 lbs. Despite this, he’s able to gain separation through good route running and breaking out of his routes with explosiveness. For all the questions about his speed, he’s had his fair share of big plays.

If you want the full video of the above play, then here’s a link for you to enjoy. With all the focus on his receiving production, he’s also spent time as a Kick Returner and a Punt Returner. Again, for all the criticism of his speed, here is another example of his explosiveness.

That was a key characteristic of the Chiefs’ offense last year. In terms of coaching, they liked getting the ball out in space to their targets in the passing game. Down below is an example of a concept ran which features creating space for the inside/slot receivers.

Meanwhile, Jarvis Landry has done most of his damage while lined up in the slot. Most importantly, he’s proven to be savvy when generating first downs, as he doesn’t dance around after securing the catch. The Bears already have their electrifying player in Tarik Cohen, they need someone who can extend drives as a dependable target. That’s who Landry is, with the bonus of being capable of lining up from the outside as well.

It’s an Andy Reid principle of adjusting your game-plans and schemes to the available talent. Surely enough, Matt Nagy is likely to apply said principle to whichever players the Bears add into their receiving corps. Basically, I believe they’ll be looking more at production, as opposed to strictly their fit schematically. And Landry is currently the most productive receiver on the market.

Somebody is going to pay for Jarvis Landry, that is a guarantee. How much he will be paid, is anyone’s guess at this point. With that said, if the Bears do indeed sign him, it will be worth whatever money he’s owed. At the same time, it is my personal hope that he’s not signed as a standalone move for their receiving corps. Not a single receiver should be signed or drafted with that mindset. It’ll take quite a few moves just to get the receiving corps stabilized in Chicago.

Hopefully, Jarvis “Juice” Landry will be a part of that change.