Landon Collins has been one of the leaders of the New York Giants since he was drafted, but for the last four games of the season, the defense will be without the star safety. Collins went down with an injury in the win against the Chicago Bears, and despite being able to come back into the game following this, Collins’ injury is worse than it initially seemed.
Now, we know that it will require shoulder surgery, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson. It will also send Collins to the injured reserve list, ending his season and putting his future with the Giants in a strange position. As an unrestricted free agent in 2019, there was a chance the Giants would use the franchise tag on Collins to keep him in New York, but both that outcome and a new deal could be thrown into question by the four to six month recovery time from the shoulder surgery.
I'm told #Giants S Landon Collins (shoulder) is going to IR. He will need surgery. The procedure will likely be next week, per source.
— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) December 5, 2018
Collins is widely regarded as a fan favorite and has 96 total tackles this year to go along with 5 tackles for a loss. As a major part of the defense since being drafted in 2015, the loss of Collins for the rest of this season could have an impact on both the next four games and the team’s fate going forward into 2019.
The general attitude, after all, is that Collins might not get a new deal coming off of an injury and a down season statistically, with no interceptions so far compared to 2 in 2017 and 5 in 2016, as well as down numbers since 2016 in the passes defended category.
What the Giants do with Collins will be one of the defining points of their offseason, that shows which direction the team is headed in. If the organization chooses to part ways, the 2019 season will almost certainly be labeled as a rebuilding year rather than one where the Giants will give one more shot at winning with the current core group of players. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however.
The franchise tag would see the Giants pay $12M to Collins in 2019, and without a lot of cap room to work with and some pressing needs to address, such as the team’s offensive line, they might just not be willing to pay that or to pay an even higher price to reach a long-term deal. Whether dropping one of their best defensive backs going into next year is a good idea or not, only time can tell.