The New York Giants have been looking for support at the linebacker position over the past few weeks, signing Jaylon Smith to help the unit and bringing familiar face Landon Collins to work his way up as well.
Collins spent the last three seasons with the Washington Commanders after signing a six-year, $84 million deal. However, the team took the OUT in his contract, realizing that his positional value didn’t match up with his production. Collins is a solid player though in his own right, providing great support in the run game but struggling in coverage.
The Giants once leaned heavily on his aggression in run defense, earning three Pro Bowl appearances and an All-Pro nod in 2016. When it was time for him to sign a new deal, general manager Dave Gettleman refused to extend him, allowing him to depart, eventually signing with an NFC East rival.
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Now that Collins is back with the Giants, working his way up through the practice squad, he indicated that the reason for his departure had everything to do with Gettleman and nothing to do with his lack of desire to stay put.
“That was my only concern. I want fans to understand that. It wasn’t the Giants. It was Dave Gettleman… I wanted to stay but Gettleman didn’t want me here.”Per Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News
The New York Giants are getting Landon Collins prepared:
With the Giants sustaining a number of injuries on the defensive side, they can absolutely utilize Collins and his skill set moving forward.
Last year for Washington, he started in 13 games, tallying 81 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two QB hits, three sacks, and two interceptions. By most accounts, he was adequate, but he is expected to transition to linebacker with Big Blue, away from his normal strong safety spot.
Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale recently indicated that they would utilize Landon to his strengths, and get him involved in some way once he’s fully caught up. The Giants utilize an aggressive scheme predicated on manufacturing a pass rush.
“I thought his workout went well,” defensive coordinator Wink Martindale said last week. “You’ve heard me say before we’re a position-less defense, so we’ll find some place he likes when we get him here and we’ll go from there.
Normally, Martindale prefers to send safeties and linebackers on the blitz as well as his front four, overwhelming opposing offensive lines with numbers and forcing quarterbacks to make quick decisions. I expect Collins to play a significant role in that facet, given his athleticism and experience.