49ers free agency rumors: LaRon Landry has trip planned to San Francisco

Jeff Zelevansky

We take a look at the news that LaRon Landry has a trip planned to San Francisco if he is unable to reach an agreement with the Indianapolis Colts.

The 49ers are hosting Charles Woodson at some point today, but they have some other options in mind at the safety position if necessary.

Landry spent last season with the Jets after five seasons with the Redskins. The Redskins let him walk in part because he struggled to stay healthy the previous two seasons. After playing in 17 total games between 2010 and 2011, Landry was able to play in all 16 games with the Jets in 2012.

Landry almost strikes me as a poor man's Dashon Goldson. He is a big hitter, but he does not have the same coverage skills as Goldson. Although Goldson could be inconsistent at times, he was showing progress as a cover man, and did a strong job in that deeper center field role.

I am waiting to hear from our Redskins blogger given that Landry spent so much time there. In the meantime, I came across this scouting report when Landry went into free agency last year. Here are their pros and cons for Landry:

Positives: A ferocious hitter who can dislodge balls loose and knock unsuspecting receivers and runners out of the game, Landry has a great physique, good anticipation skills and wraps up ballcarriers well. He is an emotional player whose verve can spark a defense. Landry knows the schemes well, is assignment-sound and can help line up his teammates. He has great strength for the position and can match up with physical and quick tight ends, which the NFL has seen more of the past few seasons.

Negatives: Landry struggles in space and is not as instinctive against the deep pass. Although he has good range, his first step can be slow and he doubts what he sees in zone coverage at times. His penchant for injuries is concerning, as the physical toll he doles out also has come back to bite him the past few seasons. Landry also can allow his emotions to boil over at times and affect his play. He's not exceptional in man coverage down the field and wouldn't be an idea fit in a traditional cover-2 defense that would ask him to play full time in space.

Fooch's Update: Our Redskins blogger got back to me:

Laron is a tough one to evaluate since he was playing through an Achilles injuries the last couple years in D.C. He was upset about how the Redskins handled his injury, and based on what it sounds like, he should be. He opted not to have surgery, was released by the Skins, and went on to make the Pro Bowl with Jets. This was all explained in an interview that B/R somehow got.

Regarding his skills, he is best used as a SS in the box. He has fantastic closing speed, will never shy down from a hit and makes good tackles inside.

His cons, which Redskins fans still remember most, are his poor coverage skills (the Redskins kept him at Free Safety way too long when it was obvious he could not do that). In addition, it was common to see Landry flex his muscles after making a big hit/tackle...even though the receiver or RB picked up the first down.

Other Redskins players said they don't mind it because it helps keep them pumped up on the field for the next play. I can see that logic, but at the time, the Redskins were always last in the NFC East.

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