The New York Giants have been going all in with Eli Manning, but they don’t seem to be too concerned with fielding a competitive defense as well. That much became apparent when they decided to let Landon Collins walk rather than place the franchise tag on him.
It seems that the Giants don’t think a young player who has led the team in tackles the last four seasons, made three Pro Bowls, and was named a first-team All-Pro safety back in 2016 is worth $11.15 million. To be fair, his production has slipped since 2016, but he also had injury issues last season.
When the rest of the team around you is as bad as the Giants were last year, even the best players look mediocre.
The Giants loss will end up being someone else’s gain. Oddsmakers seem to think the market will be busy for Collins, but they seem to differ on where the most likely landing spots are. According to Bovada, the favorite to acquire Collins is the Detroit Lions:
- Detroit Lions +215
- Kansas City Chiefs +285
- Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers +500
- San Francisco 49ers +550
- Washington Redskins +600
Sportsline.com has a slightly different take on where Collins will land:
- Indianapolis Colts: +200
- Green Bay Packers: +400
- Washington Redskins: +500
- Kansas City Chiefs: +600
- San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys: +800
- Los Angeles Rams: +900
- Houston Texans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +1000
Some of the teams are easy to eliminate—like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While they could use him, they don’t have near enough cap space to pay him what he’ll want. The Cowboys could use him but will be looking to use the cap space they have elsewhere.
Washington has a need, but they will have a tight salary cap line to walk on this year which could make signing Collins difficult. Green Bay has a need as well, but other safeties on the market could be a better fit for them.
Of the options mentioned above, there are only three that could be called ‘good’ choices—the Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, and Detroit Lions.
The Colts turned into one of the most promising and exciting teams in the NFL in the second half of the season last year thanks primarily to some incredible defensive play. Now that the expectation of success has been set, they need to figure out how to make a good defense better.
Acquiring Collins could do that, and since they are projected to have upwards of $100 million in cap space, they can afford him. The Detroit Lions would have enough cap room as well, and he would be reunited with some former teammates. But the Lions are a long way from becoming a competitive team.
The Kansas City Chiefs, however, are already a Super Bowl contender. Had their defense been a little better last year, they may have made it to the big game. So, this off-season, upgrading the entire unit is going to have to be a priority.
However, they are short on cap space and would need to find some in order to beat whatever the Colts offer and sign other players.
So—where is he going to go? If the Chiefs can find the cap room, he’ll be in Kansas City. Otherwise, he’s going to Indianapolis.