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2018 NFL Free Agency

Saints 2018 NFL Free Agency Target: Would Wide Receiver Jarvis Landry Come “Home” to Louisiana?

"The Dog Yard". For fans of the Lutcher High School Football program in St. James Parish, located in what's known as the River Parishes region that exists on the outskirts of the suburban New Orleans metropolitan area, it's the legendary local nickname for the place — Lutcher High School Stadium — where their beloved Bulldogs play their games every Friday Night during the football season.

It's also the place where the Bulldogs have won 8 Louisiana high school football State Championships, including one in 2008 led by a young man who would go on to earn nation-wide recognition as an Under Armour High School All-American at the WR position; and who also would go on to star locally in college at LSU and then eventually the NFL.

That young man's name? Jarvis Landry, wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins; and the featured player this morning in our continuing look at potential Saints 2018 NFL Free Agency targets beginning on March 14th.

Photo courtesy of The Palm Beach Post

The Saints could very well entice the 25-year old Landry with the chance to come back "home" — as well as an opportunity to play for a winning team and also get to team up with a future Hall of Fame QB in Drew Brees

Miami can head off any drama by working out an agreement before free agency opens on March 14th and it has the option to franchise/transition tag him, which would bring him back for one year; but the relationship between Landry and Dolphins management hasn't exactly been the greatest, and the team doesn't seem all that inspired to shell out the $15-16 mill a year that the Convent, La. native will likely be seeking.

This past season in 2017, Landry led the NFL in receptions (112 catches) for 987 yards and 9 TD's. In his 4-year NFL career thus far, Landry has caught exactly 400 passes for 4,038 yards and 22 TD's. 

And an added bonus if the Saints were to sign him: he's an outstanding punt and kick returner, too.

Landry's 400 catches during his first 4 NFL seasons are more than anyone ever, and he'll end up owning the record for most catches after five seasons because he’s only 26 catches away from setting that mark. Additionally, he's now a two-time Pro Bowl selection and believes he’s worth every penny of what his agent has already told the Dolphins he wants

For the Saints, it would simply come down to how much money they're willing to pony up for a player who would likely become the designated slot receiver in the Saints offense and serve as a complement to #1 WR Michael Thomas.

The catch however is that the Saints are VERY UNLIKELY to give ANY WR more money than Thomas will be getting for his new deal in the near future, making Landry's return back to Louisiana a long shot at this point unless he comes down from his asking price and decides to give New Orleans a "hometown discount".

Saints fans that live in Louisiana will remember Landry's time at Lutcher High, where he was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball, and track. As a senior, he had 51 receptions for 716 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of The Baton Rouge Advocate

He finished his high school career with 241 receptions, 3,902 yards, 50 touchdowns, and rushed for 875 yards and 14 touchdowns. At the 2011 Under Armour All-America Game, he caught a record eight receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown. He was regarded as a five-star recruit according to Rivals.com and was ranked as the nation's fourth best wide receiver. 

Landry decided to stay in Louisiana for college, and of course attended and played college football for LSU from 2011 to 2013. As sitting for most of his first year in Baton Rouge as a true freshman in 2011, Landry played in 13 games as a sophomore in 2012, with one start. He led the team with 56 receptions and five touchdowns and was second in receiving yards with 573.

But it was his junior season at LSU in 2013, where Landry's eventual path to "superstardom", truly began.

As a junior in 2013, he combined with Odell Beckham Jr. to form one of the most prolific wide receiver duos in college football history. He was a second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection. In the first five games of his junior season, he totaled seven receiving touchdowns. He finished his junior season with a team-high 77 receptions for 1,193 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of The Baton Rouge Advocate

After that memorable 2013 season, he decided to forego his senior season and entered the 2014 NFL Draft. And the rest as they say, is history.

The only question now is where Landry will make history next.

Will Landry actually give some serious consideration to returning home to Lutcher and the River Parishes, and playing for his "hometown team" in the Black and Gold?

In this life, you learn to NEVER "say never" about anything.

But unless Landry is feeling awful 'home sick', it would seem at least at this point that such a potential union between himself and the Saints, is unlikely.

Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

Then again: when it comes to the Saints and their past experiences in NFL Free Agency, stranger things have happened (and usually do).

If Landry were to sign with the Saints, it would no doubt further strengthen a team that won the NFC South Division Championship last season and was 10 seconds and a missed tackle away from playing for the conference championship.

And it certainly would be quite the "homecoming" — for the young man who has made some wonderful memories for the football faithful down in the River Parishes......

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Saints News Network Editor / Featured Columnist Barry Hirstius is a 51-year old semi-retired journalist, former New Orleans-area sports editor, and columnist previously with several sites that exclusively cover the New Orleans Saints football team. Additionally, he is a recurring guest on a variety of local Sports Talk Radio programs. Barry is also a New Orleans native who grew up as a fan of the team while attending games as a young boy at the old Tulane Stadium in the early 1970’s, originally following and now covering the team for a span of over 40 plus years. And perhaps most importantly of all: he is the Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity.....

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