LaRon Landry fits Zimmer’s defense in spades. He’s a huge hitter with great instincts that can come off the blitz like a man on fire. Landry brings versatility as he can play free as well as strong safety, providing a variety of options as a season with inevitable injuries drags on. Concerns about his durability would be considerably negated if he were bracket by Mays, Reggie Nelson, George Iloka, and a stud draft pick. As an important intangible, his presence would fit very well in this new-look Bengals locker room. If anyone had a chance to watch him recently on ESPN’s First Take or listen in on his tweets during Winter Storm Nemo (@MrLandry30) they’d notice he is an articulate and intelligent individual who has a bit of a renaissance man inside him.
Finally, to lock up Landry as soon as free agency opens is a matter of mitigating draft day uncertainty and utilization of critical first and second round picks. Some mocks have Kenny Vaccaro falling to the Bengals at 21. While this would be great, the possibility of that happening is far from certain. Several teams are going to have to pass on the top rated safety in the draft before Cincinnati selects its first rounder. If he’s off the board, or if the Bengals decide not to select a safety until later, this will likely catalyze serious decisions and reaches surrounding draft day strategy: selecting by need or best player available. If the first pick is mishandled and talent starts to fly off the board, problems could start arising as soon as round two. Having Landry in the fold would give the Bengals flexibility and not force them to make a reach or waste a mid-round pick on a late-round player if circumstances would otherwise dictate.
Regardless of payout or payday, Landry is a player that would be worth the price tag, and frankly the Bengals can’t afford not to splurge at this position, more so than at running back, which will a one-shot-one-kill answer come the 2013 NFL Draft.