Once Rex Ryan was named the head coach of the Buffalo Bills, there was immediate speculation that former New York Jets players would follow him to Buffalo. With popular names like David Harris and Mark Sanchez brought up early in any conversation, an under-the-radar pick might be safety Dawan Landry.
The 32-year old product from Georgia Tech finds himself on the free agent market for the third time over the past five years, and could be a fit to reunite with Ryan and his former defensive coordinator, Dennis Thurman.
As one of Ryan's former players, Landry would bring experience and leadership to the Bills secondary. In addition to his two years in New York, Landry also spent three of his five seasons in Baltimore as a member of Ryan and Thurman's defense. While the Bills have a talented defensive backfield, adding a veteran that knows the system could be beneficial to the group. Landry is also still productive on the field, ranking as the No. 9 safety in the league this past season, according to Pro Football Focus. Landry could also be an attractive option financially, as he will likely settle for a cap-friendly deal with his next club. In 2013, he signed a two-year, $3 million contract with the Jets, and should fall within that range again.
With expectations that Da'Norris Searcy could command as much as $5 million per season, Landry could be an affordable veteran option to rotate with Duke Williams in 2015.
Even though he received a favorable rating from PFF last season, Jets fans would argue that Landry is simply average. He is not great in coverage, and only forced one takeaway in two seasons with the Jets. This may be nitpicking when it comes to the strong safety position, but it's a criticism that is regularly mentioned when discussing Landry's abilities.
At 32 years old, age is obviously becoming more of a factor for Landry. This is likely his last free agent contract, and fans should temper expectations for the 10-year veteran.
Based on Doug Whaley's comments at the NFL Combine, Bills fans can expect Searcy to test the waters of free agency. Landry would provide a formidable veteran to rotate with Williams without breaking the bank. His familiarity playing under Ryan and Thurman would benefit the Bills' young, inexperienced safeties, as well.
A deal similar to the one he signed in New York (two years, $3 million) would likely be enough to sign Landry. An affordable contract and familiarity with Ryan and Thurman's scheme could make Landry a nice fit in Buffalo.