The New York Giants did not give safety Landon Collins the franchise tag, and a number of teams are reportedly interested in the 25-year-old Alabama product as a result.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs and Washington are among those who could pursue Collins this offseason. He pointed out Washington’s interest may be predicated on it not re-signing Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, while Kansas City’s would be based on whether it made a move with Eric Berry.
This comes after Collins thanked the organization that drafted him in the second round in 2015:
Despite the message, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (h/t Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com) reported Collins was planning on not signing the franchise tag if the Giants offered it and potentially even sitting out to negotiate a long-term deal.
That tag would have represented a significant raise at more than $12 million after he earned $1.27 million in base salary in 2018.
Still, he is a young and proven playmaker who now has the chance to hit the open market for the first time in his career. Bergman noted he is the only player in the league who tallied at least 400 tackles and 30 passes defended since he was drafted, and he will surely bring a physical and ball-hawking presence to whichever team signs him.
Collins is a three-time Pro Bowler with eight career interceptions, although he failed to record a single one in 2018. Still, he posted 96 total tackles in 12 games after surpassing the 100-tackle mark in each of his first three seasons, underscoring his ability to impact the game in multiple ways.
All four of the teams Rapoport mentioned could use him at the back end of the defense in 2019 after struggling at times against the pass. Dallas was the best of the group at 13th in the league in passing yards allowed in 2018, while Indianapolis (16th), Washington (15th) and Kansas City (31st) have weaknesses to shore up.