As the New York Giants watched the deadline to franchise tag players come and go, three-time Pro Bowler Landon Collins will test the open market for potential suitors. The expectation is that Collins will be a highly sought after commodity, despite suffering a torn labrum during the 2018 season.
Collins has been a consistent playmaker for the Giants over the years only missing five games in four seasons. His influence on the defense ranges from sure-tackler, to run stuffer, to sideline-to-sideline runner. His ability on the field is unparalleled and will undoubtedly improve another team’s defense, just hopefully not the Dallas Cowboy’s.
Moving forward, the Giants will likely test the free agent market for cheaper options at strong safety. Replacing Collins’ tackling production won’t be easy, but there are several options that could be a solid fit.
Three free agent safeties the New York Giants could target:
1.) Adrian Amos
The Giants could look towards Amos, 25, as a potential replacement for Collins. He identified as a physical, in-the-box type of player who isn’t afraid to get down and dirty. He closely mimics Collins’ game but will likely be a cheaper option. In four seasons, Amos has compiled 2274 tackles, three interceptions and 19 passes defended.
There’s little evidence to say he wouldn’t be a productive player in New York, especially if they pair him with a talented free safety.
2.) Clayton Geathers
One of the more underrated and unspoken names in the free agent pool is safety Clayton Geathers. Injuries have left a blip on the radar of interested teams yet he is a talented player that will command a nice contract in 2019. He’s a far cheaper option than Collins but could provide solid value for the Giants.
In 2018, he recorded 89 tackles and a forced fumble on a strong Indianapolis defense despite missing four games. He’s played in just 26 games in three seasons, which ultimately is cause for concern. His ailments include – foot, neck, concussion, and bulging disk issues. Last season, he suffered through neck, knee and elbow pain.
3.) Adrian Phillips
An under-the-radar option is Adrian Phillips of the Los Angeles Chargers. Despite being a borderline starter, Phillips is a top-tier leader than can contribute on several levels. He was referred to as the “heart and soul” of the defense by Chargers manager Tom Telesco. He made an impact for Los Angeles at linebacker, totaling 94 tackles and an interception in 2018.
Phillips could play the role of Collins, a glorified linebacker playing strong safety. You won’t likely find him running 30-yards downfield, but he would be a force in the run game and shallow crossing routes. Additionally, he’s a stellar special teams player, earning first-team Pro Bowl accolades with 19 ST tackles.