INDIANAPOLIS – Dave Gettleman said “eliminating distractions” is one of the big things he has to consider when deciding whether to use the franchise tag on safety Landon Collins.
Well, if he does decide to tag the 25-year-old safety, a distraction might be exactly what he gets.
There is a chance that if Collins is given the tag, he won’t sign it, possibly even until the start of the regular season. According to a source familiar with Collins’ situation, he has no interest in playing a season under the tag and definitely wouldn’t sign it until after the offseason workout program and spring mini-camps.
It’s even possible he could do what Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas did last year when he was trying to get a new contract. Thomas didn’t report to the ‘Hawks until Sept. 5 – four days before Opening Day.
That was one of the fears Gettleman expressed when he spoke to the Giants’ local media at the NFL scouting combine on Wednesday. He laid out some financial concerns about giving Collins the tag worth approximately $11.2 million. Then he said he had to consider the fact that Collins would be unhappy being tagged, too.
“So let’s go to the conversation of eliminating distractions,” Gettleman said. “You tag a guy. He’s mad. And that’s all you guys are going to write about. For six months it’s what it’s going to be. So I have to say to myself, ‘Is it worth it?'”
Gettleman did not sound like he was planning to tag Collins, though he does have until Tuesday (March 5) to make that decision. He also seemed to understand that Collins would likely hold out and has been extremely unhappy without a long-term contract. According to multiple sources, there have been no talks at all about a long-term deal for Collins, and he has grown “frustrated,” one source said, with the lack of negotiations with the team.
He also has been upset with the lack of communication. The Giants have yet to inform Collins or his agent of their franchise tag plans. That led to Collins leaving the facility last week, partially cleaning out his locker. Multiple sources have said he does not expect to return any time soon.
If the Giants don’t tag Collins, he will become an unrestricted free agent on March 13 and will instantly become one of the top safeties on the market. He probably would command a deal worth about $12 million per season, with perhaps as much as $20 million guaranteed. His preference, though, has long been to remain with the Giants.
If the Giants grant his wish, though, it likely will only be for the short-term – and it could set them up for a very rocky six to seven months.