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Cleveland Browns release wide receiver Jarvis Landry in cost-saving move

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Jarvis Landry provided an undeniable and invaluable spark in helping the Browns turn their fortunes around four years ago.

But now the five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver’s journey in Cleveland is complete.

The Browns will release Landry in a predictable cost-saving move, a person familiar with the move confirmed Monday afternoon. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the move is not yet official.

Landry was scheduled to earn $15.1 million in salary and bonuses while being capped at $16.38 million in 2022, the final year of his contract with the Browns, according to OverTheCap.com. Cutting him will cost the Browns just $1.5 million in salary cap and save them $14.879 million in cap space.

The writing had been on the wall for Landry’s departure.

The combination of Landry’s salary and lack of production in an injury-plagued 2021 season signaled that General Manager Andrew Berry fired him in the absence of a restructured contract or trade.

Almost immediately after the Browns acquired four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper on March 12 in a trade with the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland gave Landry permission to pursue a trade but also kept the door open to restructure. your deal and retain it.

In the end, it didn’t work. Landry requested his release after he failed to agree on a restructured contract with the Browns and a trade did not materialize, a league source said.

Landry is expected to generate a lot of interest on the open market. Free agency doesn’t officially start until 4 pm Wednesday, but Landry’s release will allow him to sign at any time.

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In the Browns’ opener, wide receiver Jarvis Landry had five catches on five targets for 71 yards and rushed twice for 13 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown.

Asked about Landry’s future on Jan. 11 at the season recap press conference and again on March 1 at the NFL scouting combine, Berry twice offered what sounded like goodbye.

“Jarvis, he’s been a productive player for us the last four years, a big part of helping us turn the tide and all that,” Berry said during the combine. “You know, the next two weeks are big for us in terms of evaluating the entire roster. But Jarvis has been a key veteran for us, a key producer, and we’re very grateful for all of that.”

In the same interview with the Browns’ hit writers, Berry said he wouldn’t discuss “our specific planning” when asked if he envisioned Landry staying with the franchise for the 2022 season.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry watches a pass during NFL football training camp Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Berea, Ohio.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry watches a pass during NFL football training camp Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Berea, Ohio.

On March 2, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said “we’ll see how it all plays out” while answering a question about Landry at the combine.

“I think you’ve seen countless examples of this being a business,” Stefanski added. “I think the players understand it and sometimes there are situations that are difficult. We will work through all of those.”

Representatives for Landry and Berry met at the combine, where the subject of a restructured contract was discussed.

The meeting came on the heels of Landry tweeting on Feb. 22 that he had told the Browns that he wants to return to the team next season but is also prepared to help another NFL franchise win a championship if he returns to Cleveland is not in the cards. .

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Last season, Landry missed games due to injury for the first time in his career and compiled career lows in receptions (52 on 87 targets), receiving yards (570) and receiving touchdowns (two) along with six carries. for 40 yards. (6.7 average) and two TDs.

He appeared in 12 of 17 games, not playing in four with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, in addition to other injuries, and one with COVID-19.

Denver Broncos cornerback Ronald Darby (21) tackles Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry (80) during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 2021, in Cleveland.  (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Denver Broncos cornerback Ronald Darby (21) tackles Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry (80) during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

The MCL injury occurred on Sept. 19 in Week 2 during a 31-21 win over the Houston Texans, the same game in which quarterback Baker Mayfield suffered a complete tear to the labrum in his left shoulder that is not pitch, which contributed to his poor individual performance. in 2021 and was surgically repaired on January 19.

“The reality behind all of this is I’m back playing in the best shape of my life, I was injured in week 2 with a high grade MCL sprain, partial quad tear and bone contusion,” Landry tweeted last month. “Then I came back too early and ended up hurt the whole season. You never heard me mention anything about it.”

“Before this year I missed 0 games. So push the narrative, it shows… !!!!

Landry, who turns 30 in November, was strangely quiet off the field last season.

He quickly became a team leader after former Browns general manager John Dorsey acquired him in a trade with the Miami Dolphins in 2018.

The Dolphins drafted Landry in the second round in 2014. The Browns signed him to a five-year, $75.5 million contract extension in April 2018.

Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry gets a hug from general manager John Dorsey at the team's NFL football training facility in Berea, Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry gets a hug from general manager John Dorsey at the team’s NFL football training facility in Berea, Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Landry, the Browns’ 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year, addressed local writers weekly in each of his first three seasons in Cleveland, but communication dropped last year.

After Landry’s close friend and fellow catcher, Odell Beckham Jr., forced a divorce from the Browns in early November, with OBJ’s father disparaging Mayfield’s game on Instagram, Landry did not speak to the media in an environment of equipment. His only interview for the remainder of the season took place on November 16, when he hosted the second annual Jarvis Landry Thanksgiving Food Drive at Parma Senior High School.

“It was definitely something that hurt. She stung. He still does,” Landry said of Beckham’s departure.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry (80) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Cleveland.  (AP Photo/Nick Cammett)

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry (80) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Nick Cammett)

However, Landry clearly did not blame Beckham for the breakup. In the build-up to Beckham winning Super Bowl LVI with the Los Angeles Rams on February 13, Landry surprised OBJ by storming into a virtual news conference, offering support and urging his former Louisiana State University teammate to ” go for that ring.”

Landry also blamed his health for his silence.

“My media availability didn’t happen,” Landry tweeted last month, “because I was focused on being on the field as healthy as possible during the week and after games.”

Perhaps Landry will now use another method to say goodbye to Browns fans that they adored him.

This article originally appeared in Akron Beacon Journal: Cleveland Browns releasing Jarvis Landry in cost-saving move

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