Chicago Bears should not pursue this wide receiver

Parker Hurley
Chicago Bears - Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cleveland Browns have had discussions about releasing Jarvis Landry. The move is salary-cap-related, but it would add an intriguing wide receiver into the market. The Chicago Bears essentially have one wideout on their roster as this is getting published, so it is easy to tie them as a team that could be interested.

However, while the team is likely to sign one, and probably even two veteran wideouts in free agency, they should not be looking to spend their money on Jarvis Landry.

Chicago Bears should not sign Jarvis Landry

To start, his biggest issue going against him is his age. Landry is set to be 30 this offseason. Some of the other free agents in his tier of player are names such as Christian Kirk, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and D.J. Chark. These free agents are all 25 years old.

So, no, they have not had the career that Landry has had yet, but that is because, from 25-29, they should be playing their best ball, which is the ages Landry was at his best. However, now at 30, you are paying for what he did in the past and probably not getting the most of what he will do in the future. For someone like Chark, you are betting on a risk based on past production, but his age and talent level lend to a more likely able to continue producing for the next four years.

While wide receivers often see their production start to drop off at age 30, it is not just some magic number, but rather a combination of your body wearing down after a long career. In the case of Jarvis Landy, the first sign of hindrance was hip surgery in 2020.

In response, his past two seasons saw career lows in games played, targets, and receptions per game. On top of that, he posted 1.7 yards per route run in 2021 which is below his career mark of 1.95.

Lastly, Landry is a slot wideout. While the team needs a slot wide receiver, the Chicago Bears specifically need their slot wide receiver to stretch the field. That is the obvious strength of Justin Fields’ game, and timing passing in the quick game is not.

Landy is a quick hitter in the passing game, and never had the deep speed to test teams.

For perspective, Christian Kirk spent 2021 in the slot and had an average depth of target at 12.1, while Landry was at 8.4. Kirk is a slot wideout who tests the deep area and stretches the middle of the field. This player is much more of a stylistic fit.

Fans will say that Landry is more productive, but all that says is that Landry is older, which actually is a turn-off for signing him. Teams do not get better by signing wide-outs past their prime and after the injuries have caught up to them.

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At times is takes betting on young players with high upside to fulfill that upside. That is a risk in itself, but there is a greater gain from that than there is betting on the established name who you know cannot get back to his prime days.