The Browns on Monday released five-time Pro Bowl WR Jarvis Landry.
Landry never stopped pushing the Browns to be better throughout his time in Cleveland, which came to an end Monday after the team terminated his contract following his fourth season with the Browns. His impact on the franchise has been felt across all areas of the team and cemented him as one of the best Browns players since the team returned to Cleveland in 1999.
"The trade for Jarvis Landry in 2018 was a key moment for our organization," Executive Vice President and GM Andrew Berry said. "Jarvis' on-field production and fiery competitiveness speaks for itself, but his leadership and team-oriented attitude impacted our culture in a way that will last in time even beyond his release. These decisions are always difficult, but we wish Jarvis well and we look forward to the day when he returns as a storied Browns alumnus."
Landry joined the Browns via trade in 2018 and led the team in receptions in each of his four seasons in Cleveland
Landry's contributions to the Browns started before he played a single game in Cleveland.
Landry, a four-year veteran in 2018 when he was traded from Miami to Cleveland, wanted to be one of the guys who turned the Browns into a winner. He was a Pro Bowl wide receiver ready to start another chapter of his career in a new home, but he knew that production from him alone wouldn't be enough to turn the franchise around after a winless season in 2017.
He needed his teammates to follow his lead, and he knew that work had to be done by building trust in the locker room and practice fields. He needed them to believe that change and better results on the field were immediately possible if one overarching trait of the team improved.
Almost instantly upon his arrival, Landry helped change it. One of his first moves in doing so was displayed to everyone in August 2018, when HBO's "Hard Knocks" series aired a passionate, emotion-filled speech to the receivers room about not taking days off and grinding through the slog of training camp. The speech has constantly been highlighted as one of the moments the Browns began to change for the better, and it all started because Landry decided to speak up.
"I'm not really much of a talker," Landry told NFL Films after the speech. "When I talk, it takes a lot before it comes out. But at the same time, I try to talk with the best interest of the team, not just myself. Pushing guys, holding the guys accountable and leading by example."
He's 15th in franchise history with 3,560 receiving yards and third — behind Josh Gordon and Hall of Famer Mac Speedie — with 60.3 yards per game among Browns players who played in 40 or more games.
The Browns went 7-8-1 in Landry's first season, a remarkable turnaround after the team won just once in its previous 32 games before his arrival. That season was a statement that Cleveland was ready to compete, and Landry was one of the leaders propelling the charge with his fiery, no-quit style of play. His intensity invigorated his teammates and the Browns fanbase to believe that better seasons were on the horizon — and they were.
The Browns won 32 games in their four years with Landry on the roster, the most they had won in a four-year period since 1986-89, and Landry was one of the biggest producers in nearly all of the biggest wins in that stretch.
He was the leading receiver with eight catches for 103 yards when the Browns snapped a 19-game winless streak in Week 3 of 2018 with a 21-17 win over the Jets. In a dominant 40-25 win over the Ravens in Week 4 of 2019, Landry delivered arguably the best game of his career with eight catches for 167 yards, the most in a game in his career.
When the Browns were a win away against the Steelers from ending their 18-year playoff drought in Week 17 in 2020, Landry scored the Browns' final touchdown of the 24-22 victory on a 3-yard run. A week later, the Browns played a rematch against the Steelers in the Wild Card round, and Landry again was a heavy contributor with 92 receiving yards and one touchdown.
The Browns won, 48-37, in their first playoff win since 1994. Their 11-5 record in 2020 was their best in over two decades, and Landry was undoubtedly one of the biggest playmakers who made the success possible.
The culture change Landry worked endlessly to bring to the Browns had taken shape, too. Players gratified toward his leadership and looked to him during the many ups and downs during every season. When the Browns needed a rallying voice, Landry was there to speak up.
Even though Landry won't be on the roster in 2022, his influence on the Browns will no doubt linger. He was a true leader, a consummate pro and someone who worked to make the franchise better every day.