Colts sign free agent safety LaRon Landry
The Indianapolis Colts are spending fast and freely in free
One day after signing five players to contracts, Pro Bowl safety
LaRon Landry became the newest addition by signing a four-year
contract with Indy late Wednesday night.
”We’re ecstatic about this signing,” general manager Ryan
Grigson said in a statement issued by the team. ”We feel LaRon is
an absolute game-changer and a true impact player. We’re talking
about a 220-pound safety that runs 4.3 (in the 40-yard dash) and
plays to that speed. His approach to the game and his style of play
are lights out and embody the culture we’re building on the defense
and this team in general.”
In less than 48 hours, the Colts have spent a good portion of
the $40 million they were able to spend in free agency, and they’ve
made a concerted effort to address their most glaring needs –
protecting quarterback Andrew Luck, getting bigger at linebacker
and rebuilding a secondary that struggled the past two seasons.
At 6-foot and 220 pounds, Landry should provide a more physical
presence in a secondary that has traditionally been undersized.
Landry is both big and a big-hitter and he’s proven to be
durable, too. In his first five NFL seasons, all in Washington,
Landry started 79 of 80 games. Last season, with the New York Jets,
he was selected to the AFC’s Pro Bowl team after recording a
career-high 113 tackles, matching his career-high with two
interceptions and forcing four fumbles.
While team owner Jim Irsay confirmed the length of the deal on
Twitter, the Colts did not immediately release financial terms of
Landry will now work in a revamped secondary that includes
cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Greg Toler, two-time Pro Bowl safety
Antoine Bethea and former Notre Dame star Tom Zbikowski. Of those
five, only Bethea has been with the Colts more than one season.
Indy signed Zbikowski as a free agent last season from
Baltimore. Toler was one of signees in Indy’s signing frenzy
Tuesday, and they got Davis from Miami just before the start of the
2012 season for a second-round pick in this year’s draft. Davis is
a former first-round pick.
The Colts are hoping a new philosophy translates into stronger
”I don’t do too much talking. I play hard-nosed football. I
stick my nose in the fan if it’s a run,” Toler said Wednesday.
”I’m going to cover up the pass. I’m not going to let them pick on
me too much.”
A year ago, Grigson focused on putting the key pieces in place
around rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. He used Indy’s first four
draft picks on offensive players — Luck, tight ends Coby Fleener
and Dwayne Allen and receiver T.Y. Hilton — and brought in three
veteran offensive linemen, all of whom started in 2012.
He continued reinforcing the line by signing right tackle Gosder
Cherilus and guard Donald Thomas on Tuesday.
”When I went through the whole process, I called a whole bunch
of guys that I’ve played with who played here last year and they
had nothing but great things to say about the whole team,”
Cherilus said. ”The whole organization from (coach) Chuck Pagano
to (left tackle) Anthony Castonzo, they had nothing but positive
things to say. It was time to make the call, I just told my agent
to go ahead and make the call.”
But the primary focus this offseason is to rebuild a defense
still making the transition from a traditional 4-3 front to
Pagano’s 3-4 scheme last season.
The second phase of the plan includes putting more pressure on
the quarterback, adding size and getting more physical in the
Indy believes it filled some of the holes by signing Toler and
linebackers Lawrence Sidbury and Erik Walden on Tuesday.
”I felt like my role was a little held back in Green Bay,
always was like a little tagalong,” Walden said. ”Now I’m walking
taller where I can just take over and take charge and be the man.
That’s what I plan on doing.”
Landry is the latest addition and he can’t wait to get
”Thank u Jet Nation 4 da best yr of my NFL career!!” Landry
wrote on Twitter. ”Indy r u ready 2 start?”