Landon Collins may reach free agency after all. The Giants are now not expected to apply their franchise tag to the decorated safety, Kim Jones and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com report (via Twitter).
This is a course change from a previous report. The Giants believe in Collins’ talent and long-term viability, but the NFL.com duo adds that team brass views the safety tag number ($11.15MM) as too high to make this move.
No significant talks between the Giants and Collins are believed to have occurred, and the fifth-year defender went through a much-publicized locker-cleanout session recently. He now may be a week away from being able to speak to other teams about deals. The NFL’s legal tampering period opens March 11.
Collins just turned 25 and likely will have a robust market awaiting him, despite being in the process of rehabbing a shoulder injury. He is a three-time Pro Bowler who landed on the 2016 All-Pro first team.
The Giants are not flush with cap space, holding $27M-plus, but have plenty of needs. A Collins defection will create a big one in New York’s secondary, which already has holes. Janoris Jenkins is now expected to stick around — and on his $14.75M cap number — but the Giants do not have much of note beyond him. This will be an interesting situation, if/once Collins walks.