New England Patriots Rumors: Jarvis Landry is there for the taking

Wide receiver Jarvis Landry #80 of the Cleveland Browns (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Wide receiver Jarvis Landry #80 of the Cleveland Browns (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots know that they need help at wide receiver this offseason. They have been linked to pretty much every free agent, trade target, and draft candidate in the early stages of the offseason so far.

However, the path to acquiring a top WR has become much more difficult over the past few days. The wideout free agent market has seen most of the top options either get franchised or extended by their current club, which isn’t a great sign. While New England probably wasn’t going to be able to hand out huge deals to guys like Davante Adams, Chris Godwin, and Mike Williams in free agency, the market for the remaining top guys (a la Allen Robinson) could explode.

Things managed to get even worse yesterday afternoon when another top target in Amari Cooper ended up getting traded to the Cleveland Browns. Cooper was reportedly set to be released before the new league year in order to help ease the Dallas Cowboys cap woes, but they ended up snatching away a pair of late round picks from the Browns instead.

While losing a potential (albeit unlikely) target in Cooper hurts, a new one may have emerged in the process. Shortly after acquiring Cooper, the Browns allowed their top slot receiver, Jarvis Landry, to begin seeking a trade out of Cleveland. Landry’s status in Cleveland has been the subject of speculation since the season’s end, and now that’s he’s officially looking for the trade, the Patriots may have themselves a new top wide receiver target.

Jarvis Landry would be a perfect fit for the New England Patriots

Now before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s worth noting that Landry’s situation is still very much up in the air. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that while the Browns are letting Landry look for a trade, they are also exploring a potential contract restructure that would result in him staying in Cleveland. He also notes there’s a chance Landry may just get released altogether.

This is a pretty recent development that, in all honesty, doesn’t really say much. Fowler basically says Landry may get traded, restructure his deal, or get cut. So pretty much the three options a team has when it comes to roster management with their players.

In all likelihood, it looks like Landry’s time is coming to an end in Cleveland one way or another. And that should have the Patriots front office on high alert. Landry is one of the top slot receivers in the league, and for a team that desperately needs another high end receiver, Landry would be the perfect fit for New England.

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We already took a look at Landry as a potential trade target earlier in the offseason, though things have clearly changed regarding his status recently. With his desire to be traded public knowledge now, his trade value has dropped even more. Cleveland also may just release him altogether if they want some cap space, as cutting him would still save the team $14.8 million in cap space.

Whatever happens, it seems like the New England Patriots would have a really decent shot at landing Landry. If they want to pony up and trade for him, they’d probably only need a third day draft pick to do so. Trading for him at this point seems to be a bit of a risk however, as his $16.3 million cap hit wouldn’t fit on the books currently, and there’s no sense trading for a player who’s about to get released.

The problem with waiting things out is that if Landry gets released, he instantly becomes one of the top wide receivers on the market. Robinson is probably ahead of him, and maybe his buddy Odell Beckham Jr. is too, but other than that Landry is better than pretty much every other receiver available. His contract is a bit expensive now, yes, but there’s a pretty good chance he would stay within the $12-15 million per year range if he hit the market.

The New England Patriots could also conceivably bump up their draft pick compensation in a potential trade in order for Cleveland to eat some of the money on his current deal. Now I’m not saying they should go from a day three pick to a day two pick, I’m saying like a seventh rounder to a sixth rounder, or something along those lines. Maybe the Browns want to take a flier on N’Keal Harry too, which would help create some more cap space in the process.

Patience the best path forward for the Pats this offseason. dark. Next

The wide receiver market has seen a lot of names come off the board over the last week or so, and Landry may be New England’s last shot at landing a top tier wide receiver this offseason. He’s a sure handed target out of the slot who can get open on any route, and catches pretty much everything that comes his way. He would be the perfect target to help Mac Jones in his development, and the Patriots should absolutely do what it takes to bring him to New England.