The Jacksonville Jaguars need to make upgrades to their offense this offseason but their defense also needs some work done. One area that could use a boost is their pass rush and if the Jags want to address it in free agency, they should consider targeting outside linebacker Harold Landry.
A second-round pick by the Titans in 2018, Landry was one of the most dominant pass rushers in the league last season, notching 10.5, the most in Tennesse since 2016, when Brian Orakpo logged the same number. Landry is set to become a free agent and has stated his desire to remain in Nashville on several occasions but he and the team haven’t reached an agreement yet, so there’s a chance he will hit the open market.
The Titans want Landry back and teammate Kevin Byard would be willing to restructure his contract to free up cap room to sign the outside linebacker. Per Spotract, Landry’s market value currently stands at $17.1 million per year and is expected to land a four-year $68.4 million contract this offseason. That’s a pretty reasonable amount when you take into account the impact he has on the football field.
Pro Football Focus values Landry a bit lower at $15 million per year, but even if he is interested in getting $17/18 million per year, that can fit the Jaguars’ offseason budget.
Harold Landry would give the Jaguars a pass rusher opposite Josh Allen.
It’s not a given that Landry will hit the open market. In fact, he will most likely re-sign with the Titans but on the off chance he does become a free agent, the Jaguars need to pursue him. They will have around $56 million in cap space and they can use some of that amount to give their pass rush a boost this offseason. They don’t have many big contracts to hand to their own pending free agents and inking Landry would give them the flexibility to pass on either Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux and choose Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal with the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Landry would give Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell a dominant edge rusher opposite outside linebacker Josh Allen, which would make it easy for him to install his scheme. With Dawuane Smoot also in the mix, Jacksonville could have a pretty good rotation up front. The Jags’ defense registered 32 sacks in 2021 after logging 18 the year before and if they sign Landry and make a few other changes, that number could keep going up next season.
Under new head coach Doug Pederson, Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars’ offense are expected to improve in 2022. But the defense also needs to be more productive and signing Landry, if he’s a free agent, would help that cause.