The Giants don’t have to say a firm goodbye to Landon Collins after all. They’ll see him twice a year now.
According to multiple reports, the 25-year-old safety agreed to a monster deal with the NFC East rival Redskins on Monday, the first day that potential free agents were able to discuss contract particulars with other teams. According to the NFL Network, the deal is for six years and worth $84 million, with $45 million of that guaranteed. That will make him the highest-paid safety in the NFL.
The deal won’t become official until the start of the new league year on Wednesday.
The Giants were never close to offering that kind of money in a long-term deal with Collins. They did not see the value in signing at such a high price a strong safety whose best plays are made close to the line of scrimmage and who can struggle in coverage against running backs and tight ends. The Redskins clearly do.
One of those teams will be correct in their evaluation.
The Giants had an opportunity to keep Collins on the roster for 2019 with a franchise tag that would have cost them $11.1 million. Instead, they decided to let Collins, a three-time Pro Bowler, walk into free agency. The loss of Collins puts the Giants in good position to land a third-round compensatory pick in the 2020 draft. The Giants had an opportunity to trade Collins during the 2018 season, but those offers never got higher than a fourth-round pick.
Collins missed the last four games of 2018 with a shoulder injury that required surgery. He also finished 2017 on injured reserve after fracturing his forearm, an injury that required two surgeries. He led the team in tackles in each of his four years with the Giants, but Collins never quite clicked with the new scheme brought in by defensive coordinator James Bettcher. He had zero sacks and zero interceptions in 2018.