What Tennessee Titans GM Jon Robinson said about Harold Landry contract negotiations

Ben Arthur
Nashville Tennessean
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INDIANAPOLIS – Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson said Wednesday that contract talks with Pro Bowl outside linebacker Harold Landry are ongoing, adding that there will be a meeting later this week to discuss the situation further. 

Landry – the Titans’ sack leader the last three seasons, including a career-high 12 in 2021 – will be an unrestricted free agent when his rookie contract expires March 16. Other teams can enter contract negotiations with Landry and his camp March 14, when the two-day legal tampering window opens.  

Asked about tagging Landry, Robinson noted that Tennessee has some time to make the decision. NFL clubs have until Tuesday to designate a player with a franchise or transition tag, which becomes a one-year, fully guaranteed contract when signed by the player.

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“I hope so,” Robinson said when asked if he feels a deal will get done with Landry. “But there’s a lot of factors that go into that. He’s certainly worked hard. He’s been about what we’re about. We’re going to do our best to keep him (in Tennessee).”

Retaining Landry poses a challenge financially for the Titans, who are $8.3 million over the 2022 salary cap. A long-term deal would be more feasible than the tag, which counts in full against the salary cap for one season. 

The Titans’ second-round pick in 2018, Landry could command at least $17 million a year on his new contract. And Tennessee has already paid big on a pass rusher, signing fellow outside linebacker Bud Dupree to a five-year deal worth $82 million last offseason. Star defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons will also come to due for a big-money deal in the near future, though the Titans can pick up his fifth-year option for the 2023 season later this offseason. 

From a football standpoint, letting Landry walk would be a gamble, considering how productive and dominant Tennessee’s pass rush was in 2021. The Titans had 43 sacks last season, compared to 19 in 2020.  

“I think that all of those guys benefitted from each other,” Robinson said of the front four. “I thought the rush was coordinated. I thought (Denico Autry's) presence, along with Jeffery’s presence, helped Harold. I hope Harold’s presence helped Jeffery. 

"That’s what you want from that front, but it is a balance of trying to keep that thing together and working through Harold’s contract and being mindful of players we have coming down the pipe too that we want to try to keep there as well.”

Ben Arthur covers the Tennessee Titans for The USA TODAY Network. Contact him at barthur@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter at @benyarthur.

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