The NFL off-season delivers us all a plethora of curve balls each year. One of many that were thrown our way so far this year was Giants star safety Landon Collins packing his bags at the team’s facility and bidding farewell to his teammates last month. Beyond that, national NFL insiders have kept us all up to date on Collins and where he stands in negotiations with Big Blue. Futhermore, it would appear Collins’ tenure with the G-Men has concluded, sending a player that stands out in coverage and especially in run support to the open market. Here are five teams that should pony up the big bucks for the 25-year-old safety standout.
1. Green Bay Packers
The Packers have endured a lengthy hunt for stability in the back end of their defense. There has been no shortage of mistakes made during that hunt though, as letting Casey Hayward walk and trading HaHa Clinton-Dix cannot go without mentioning. Adding Landon Collins to their secondary, coupled with the exciting young talent at cornerback in guys like Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson, would unequivocally make the search for secondary stability shorter, and a lot less painful.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City is undergoing sweeping changes on defense following the hiring of Steve Spagnuolo as their new defensive coordinator. Kansas City’s defensive scheme change does not fill the holes in the secondary, however. Outside of Eric Berry, the Chiefs’ defense has relied heavily on the front seven, which has delivered for them, but when it can’t, times are tough. The Chiefs have made the secondary a focal point in recent years, though, trading for Kendall Fuller from the Redskins to bolster their cornerback depth, but shipping Marcus Peters off when they did was proven to be costly. Beyond all of that, pairing Landon Collins with a healthy Eric Berry would be one of the most fearful playmaking safety tandems the NFL has seen in recent years, and the Chiefs have the funds to make it happen.
3. Indianapolis Colts
Adding Collins to a Colts defense that was surging under Matt Eberflus a season ago would surely add a win or two to their record in 2019. Providing that 2017 first-round pick Malik Hooker stays healthy, this defense would be downright scary by having the range, long speed and coverage skills Hooker does paired with Collins’ ability to play down inside the box in run support and hold his own in coverage on the back end. It should also not go without mentioning that Indianapolis is the richest team in the NFL in terms of salary cap space heading into free agency.
4. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle’s glorious ‘Legion of Boom’ days have been over for about two years now, but that just means it’s only a matter of time before they bring it back to life! Faced with the long awaited departure of Earl Thomas, the Seahawks have a glaring need for safety help this off-season. Offering Landon Collins a contract enticing enough for him to accept would not only be a bandaid on the wound of having no starting safeties, but would also be a giant leap toward rebuilding the Legion of Boom. Collins thrives in a similar role that former Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor did, doing just fine in coverage but mostly by literally making his presence felt inside the box on running downs. Acquiring Collins would task the Seahawks with finding a new rangy, cover safety like Thomas was and a pure shutdown corner on the right side of the field to complete the resurrection of the Legion of Boom.
5. Washington Redskins
The Redskins had something brewing on the back end last season, but it wound up being put on the back burner. Josh Norman was being, well, Josh Norman, but Washington made it a priority to give their top cover man some help back there at the midseason trade deadline, by trading a fifth-round pick to the Packers in exchange for safety HaHa Clinton-Dix. The addition of Clinton-Dix equipped Washington with a suddenly dangerous secondary, teaming him up with Norman and safety D.J. Swearinger. Fans were cautiously optimistic about this new trio, and rightfully so. The group meshed well together on the field, but Swearinger bought his ticket out of Washington before season’s end, by criticizing the team’s coaching staff in saying he believes he watches more film than the coaches do. Fast forward to the off-season and the ‘Skins have an easy solution to cutting ties with Swearinger — the availability of Landon Collins, a player that they are quite familiar with from his time with the division rival Giants. So long as they opt to keep Clinton-Dix in town, signing Collins would offer the Redskins a similar play style to that of what D.J. Swearinger offered, his primary roles circulating around being effective in coverage and finding consistent success in the box against the run.