Landon Collins wants to be back.
“It’s a dream of mine,” he said of finishing his career with the Giants. “Hopefully we make it a reality.”
So far, though, there have been no talks between the Giants and the agents for the Pro Bowl safety, who is the biggest pending free agent on the roster. Things could come together quickly, of course, but the Giants also could wind up using the franchise tag to keep Collins on board for at least the 2019 season.
Some players bristle at that designation. At least one, Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, sat out an entire season to avoid it. But Collins, who at one point earlier in the season sounded averse to being tagged, said Monday that he would accept such a contract. It was his first time speaking to reporters since he had season-ending surgery.
“Would I play on it? I got no choice but to play on it,” he said. “But it’s not a big concern of mine. I know what I’m capable of. Hopefully we can work something out before that, but if not, franchise it is. I’d just have to continue proving myself.”
Collins led the team in tackles despite missing the last four games after surgery to repair a partially torn shoulder labrum. His left arm remains in a sling, but he said he expects to be cleared for lifting and training very shortly and to return to football activities by the end of March. The initial prognosis for recovery was four to six months.
The surgery, Collins said, will not impact any contract talks. “It would play into it if I didn’t go through with the surgery,” he said.
For now, it’s the Giants’ move. And Collins awaits it.
“The process has not begun yet,” he said of negotiations. “Hopefully it will begin soon.”
Notes & quotes: Pat Shurmur said changes may be coming to the coaching staff. “Some guys leave for whatever reasons, but again, that’s part of the process that we’ll go through,” he said. “We’ll meet as coaches and try to find ways to get better.” . . . Shurmur described his relationship with Odell Beckham Jr. as “good.” “Just like any player on our team, I’ve learned a lot about Odell,” he said. “It’s very honest and open, just like it is with every other player.” . . . Besides the six NFC East games, the Giants in 2019 will host the Cardinals, Bills, Packers, Dolphins and Vikings and visit the Bears, Lions, Patriots, Jets and Bucs. The Bucs will host an international game in 2019, so that game might be in either London or Mexico City.