Grading the Redskins’ free agent deal for safety Landon Collins
The Washington Redskins made a big-time move on the free agent market, adding Landon Collins to the fold to man one of their safety position. Here’s our grade for the move.
Landon Collins is now a Redskin. While the deal won’t be official until the NFL league year begins on Wednesday, Washington has added young talent to their defense. Collins, just 25, is one of the better box safeties in the league and is a terrific tackler. He will give the Redskins something they have lacked at safety for many years. Stability.
Collins inked a six-year deal to join the ‘Skins. In the process, he also became the highest-paid safety in the NFL. His six-year, $84 million deal has an average annual value of $14 million per year, surpassing Eric Berry‘s $13 million as the highest current contract in the NFL. The Redskins also shelled out $45 million guaranteed for Collins, so needless to say, they are all in on the former Alabama product.
Collins is one of the best tackling safeties in the NFL and most importantly, is more than willing to come up and help make stops. He has totaled 428 stops over the course of the last four seasons. Even better, he has only ever missed four games. Sure, those games all came last season, but the fact is that he has mostly been durable and has logged an All-Pro nod before. He is a very good player who is still young and should be entering his prime.
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The one deficient area with Collins is his work in coverage. He can sometimes let opposing tight ends break open or allow big catches on the back end. That said, the Redskins probably plan to play Collins in the box quite a bit. They didn’t pay him big money to be forced into a role that he won’t fit into.
Moving forward, the team will need to pair him with a rangy free safety to ensure that they have a solid safety tandem. That could be Montae Nicholson, another free agent, or a draft pick. But they’re further along at the position than they were just hours ago. And that’s a major win.
The Redskins needed a safety, and they got one. Sure, paying Collins $14 million a year may not be ideal, but he still fills a massive need and should upgrade the defense long-term. He adds to the talent that already exists on the squad including Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Reuben Foster, Josh Norman, and Ryan Kerrigan. Their defense is much stronger with Collins, so they deserve a positive grade.
The only thing that prevents this from being an “A” is that Collins was slightly overpaid. But, if he becomes the playmaker that the Redskins envision, he’ll be worth the deal. And since the contract only takes him to his age 31 season, there’s a good chance that he will still be playing at a high level late in the contract. Plus, they’re poaching him from a divisional rival. That pushes the deal into the B-range for sure.