There’s no two ways about it: the linebacker position is a huge problem for Washington right now. Jon Bostic and Cole Holcomb are huge liabilities in coverage, and they haven’t been much better against the run.
If Washington fans had their pick, Holcomb would see the field more than Bostic, who has a rancid 30.7 overall grade from Pro Football Focus through four games. We didn’t even know PFF’s grading system ran that low.
Holcomb has been much more consistent. Jamin Davis, meanwhile, is learning on the job, though he’s yet to log a 60% snap share in any game thus far. That suggests the coaching staff isn’t quite ready to unleash him.
Bottom line? Washington needs linebacker help. Luckily for them, the Lions officially released Jamie Collins last week after they tried (and failed) to trade him.
That means Collins is free to sign with any team in the NFL. With that in mind, would the former Pro Bowler be a fit with Washington?
Jamie Collins would be a solid signing for the Washington Football Team
Collins isn’t your prototypical MIKE linebacker, but it’s worth noting he’s tallied more than 100 tackles four times in his career. We know tackles don’t define an LB’s impact, but that’s a big part of their job and Washington’s linebackers have been brutal in the tackling department, especially in the open field.
Furthermore, Collins has been dominant against the run this season. It’s only a small sample size, but the 31-year-old ranked as PFF’s seventh-best run defender (79.8 grade) among linebackers through three weeks. Entering Sunday’s game vs Atlanta, the Football Team ranked 25th in rushing yards allowed per game.
We’re not saying Collins would solve all of Washington’s problems, but his strengths certainly align with their weaknesses, no? He’s also capable of getting after the quarterback, as evidenced by his 25.5 career sacks and 51 QB hits.
Collins isn’t as proven in coverage as we would like, but Holcomb and Davis can pick up the slack there. The main goal here is phasing Bostic out of the starting lineup, which might happen anyway if the pec injury he suffered vs the Falcons on Sunday is as serious as reports suggest.
Even better news for Washington is that Collins is owed a fully guaranteed $8.8 million ($5M bonus, $3.8M salary) from the Lions this season. That could make him more open to sign a bargain-type, prove-it deal.
Cap space isn’t an issue for Washington — they currently have the eighth-most of any team in the league at $14.08 million, per Spotrac. However, what team doesn’t enjoy saving money on a midseason signing?
Seriously, who says no? We certainly wouldn’t, but Washington better act fast, because Collins’ market figures to heat up with Week 4 in the rearview.