After a career year in 2021, Tennessee Titans pass rusher Harold Landry is set to hit the free-agent market this offseason. Let’s examine what value Landry could command on the open market and his potential landing spots this offseason.
Harold Landry had a strong finish to his rookie contract
This season was crucial for Landry as he played in the final year of his rookie contract with the Titans. His first three seasons had been a good start to his career, but he needed a strong fourth campaign. In his first three years, he had 19 sacks, 181 combined tackles, 27 tackles for loss, and 44 QB hits. Those numbers saw him rank 38th in sacks, 108th in combined tackles, tied for 34th in tackles for loss, and tied for 38th in QB hits during those three years.
That is why he needed a strong 2021 season. The numbers are good, but not great for a player whose primary role is rushing the passer. During the 2021 regular season, Landry had 12 sacks, 74 combined tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 22 QB hits. All of those were career highs and saw him move up the leaderboard in each category over the period he has been in the league.
With 31 sacks in four seasons, Landry ranked 23rd in that four-year stretch. He climbed up to 89th in combined tackles with 255, 15th in tackles for loss with 41, and 22nd in QB hits with 66. That impressive final season has seen Landry’s value increase to a point where he could challenge the top five highest-paid outside linebackers in the NFL.
Spotrac currently has Landry’s market value at a projected average of $17.5 million per year. That would place him sixth in terms of outside linebackers currently. Let’s examine which teams might be in the market to sign Landry this offseason.
The Miami Dolphins could utilize Landry on the EDGE
The Dolphins’ situation in terms of their defense and how they line up will depend on the outcome of their search for a head coach. Under Brian Flores, they ran a 3-4 defense, which would have been perfect for Landry to slot in as a potential replacement for Emmanuel Ogbah. Ogbah had 9 sacks this season; Landry is three years younger and had better numbers this year.
If the Dolphins were tight on cap space, they might decide to roll it back with Ogbah. However, the Dolphins have a projected $70 million available and can use this offseason to place long-term building blocks on both sides of the ball. Landry is a better fit for a 3-4 defense, so this landing spot could evaporate when they make a hire. However, if they stick with a 3-4 scheme, this would be an ideal landing spot for Landry.
The Jaguars have several free agents amongst their pass rushers this offseason and next
When you look at the Jaguars’ roster, they appear set in terms of their pass rush. Josh Allen and Dawuane Smoot are a talented duo, but both are set to be free agents over the next two years. Additionally, Jihad Ward, Adam Gotsis, and Lerentee McCray are all set to be free agents this offseason as well.
That leaves the Jaguars with a need to fill in terms of pass rushers this offseason. They may decide to prioritize re-signing Allen instead of looking externally. An additional element for the fit of Landry in Jacksonville depends on who they hire as a head coach. As we discussed with the Dolphins, if they transition to a 4-3 defense under a new head coach, then Landry would not be as good of a fit for them.
Could the Denver Broncos be looking for a star pass rusher?
The Broncos allowed Von Miller to leave via trade this season, leaving them a need in terms of their pass rush. When you look at the Broncos’ pass-rush options, they lack a star. Bradley Chubb has not developed into the leader of the group they would have hoped, and the other options lack the star power.
That is where Landry could come in and be a difference-maker. The Broncos have the cap space to make it work, but much like the Dolphins and Jaguars situations, the result of their head coach search could be crucial. Landry could be the final addition to what is an extremely talented defense in Denver.
Could the Titans re-sign Landry this offseason?
The Titans are going to have a lot of tough decisions to make this offseason. They have less than $5 million in projected cap space and just 40 players under contract. Their options are limited to open significant cap space unless they look to extend key players. That could limit their ability to bring Landry back.
Of course, we know teams can manipulate cap numbers reasonably easily. The Titans could utilize void years, option bonuses, and large guarantees to ensure Landry can return. He has certainly been a valuable part of this defense, and it would be a shame for Tennessee if he were to leave this offseason.