One of the big blows for the New York Giants this season was losing safety Landon Collins to injury in week 13, and with Collins’ fate with the team being determined this offseason, that injury made it debatable whether Collins will ever play another game in the Giants uniform or not, despite getting fan favorite status because of his performances from past years. Now that it’s the offseason, that situation is receiving some attention once again.
Collins is out of a contract and the Giants have a few options: agree to a new deal, let Collins become an unrestricted free agent and possibly walk, or make a trade. Based on the rumors that Collins was shopped earlier and a trade partner wasn’t found, it’s safe to say that the Giants are probably looking at the first two options. Of course, there is one other option. That would be the franchise tag.
The Giants could franchise tag Collins to keep him on the roster for another year even if they can’t come to a deal, but that’s a risky move. The franchise tag didn’t work out for the Pittsburgh Steelers when they used it on Le’veon Bell, but really, the chances of a holdout for a long term deal depend on the personality of the player.
Are the Giants at risk of Collins sitting out the season if they use the franchise tag to keep him on the team this coming season? Probably not, based on what Collins himself has said recently.
“I’ve got no choice,” said Collins, referring to playing after potentially receiving the franchise tag. “But it’s not a big concern of mine. I know what I’m capable of. Hopefully we work something out before that. If not, the franchise it is. I’ve just got to continue proving myself.”
Collins also stated that he hopes to remain with the team through his career. “My hope is to be here, honestly. I was drafted here. I want to finish my career here. It’s a hope and dream of mine. Hopefully we can make it a reality.”
That’s not to say that the Giants should use the franchise tag on Collins unless it’s absolutely necessary. A long term deal would be a preferable alternative, that includes less risk of eventually losing a top defensive player to free agency. While the franchise tag can keep a player on a team for another year, it’s a band-aid solution and not a real fix.
If the Giants actually want to keep one of their best defensive players, which would help them significantly in their rebuild, they’ll need to pay up and agree to a long term deal. However, if that doesn’t happen, it’s good to know that the team most likely won’t get embroiled in a Le’veon Bell situation going forward.
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