While the New York Giants nearly let their best safety walk in free agency, according to Josina Anderson, the rest of society had a few questions that debunked that false claim. Landon Collins was reportedly seen emptying his locker and saying goodbye to his teammates at the Giants’ facilities.
There’s only one problem with that story – a majority of the players don’t appear at the facilities regularly during the offseason. Additionally, cleaning out your locker doesn’t automatically indicate that he’s cutting ties with the Giants or vise-versa, in fact, it would be incredibly ignorant to think that.
Collins spoke out about the news of his departure:
The stuff in that locker that I have left I do not need
— LANDON COLLINS (@TheHumble_21) February 20, 2019
There is no reason for Collins to have a plethora of personal items in his locker during the offseason, which might be implied by his response. To be fair, it’s difficult to understand what he’s trying to say without any punctuation, but I perceived it as him declaring he wouldn’t even bother to clean out his locker due to the lack of sentimental items being housed.
So, the story by Anderson seems to be false.
If the Giants franchise tag Collins, they will still have to find a capable free safety:
Last season, the Giants ran with Curtis Riley at free safety, a converted corner that was lost in coverage at times and took bad angles toward ball carriers. His tackling efficiency was sub-par despite decent interception totals (4). General manager Dave Gettleman could look to free agency to grab a quality safety to pair with Collins. This would undoubtedly upgrade the unit significantly.
Free safety options in the 2019 free agency class:
1.) Earl Thomas
The former star safety will be 30 years old during the 2019 season, which attests to the injuries he’s suffered through recently. He will demand a high price tag in free agency but will upgrade the position for any team willing to take a flier on him. The Giants would immediately become better in the secondary with him filling the spot, but with a tad less than $28 million in cap space, it’s unlikely a deal can be reached.
2.) Lemarcus Joyner
Joyner played on the Los Angeles Rams last season, reaching the Super Bowl but losing to the New England Patriots. This could be a decent option for the Giants as Joyner is superb at patrolling the middle of the field and picking the right angles. He’s a quality player that will also command a decent contract, but more affordable than Earl Thomas.
3.) Adrian Amos
Amos played in 56 games under Vic Fangio, one of the best defensive coordinators in the game. In 2018, he recorded 73 combined tackles, two interceptions, and nine passes defended. He would be a major upgrade over Riley and would finally provide some consistency to the free safety position on a middling Giants defense.
He will likely earn a nice contract, but Gettleman can backload a potential deal and provide value in the short-term on a low-cap contract.
Who’s the better option:
Out of the three reviewed above, Amos seems like the best fit in New York. He’s coming from a team that is coming off a successful year and he’s only entering his prime. The Giants can fill that position for a few years and allocate draft picks towards the defensive line.
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