Former Commanders safety Landon Collins on verge of rejoining NFC East
By Jerry Trotta
The Washington Commanders could certainly use some reinforcements amid their three-game losing streak. But what is adding more talent going to do? While the roster lacks depth at certain positions, it’s far too talented to have a 1-3 record and look like one of the worst teams in football since the opening week. No, folks, not even Landon Collins, could save this version of the Commanders.
Collins would certainly help plug some holes at linebacker, but the Commanders are seemingly prepared to let Jamin Davis learn on the job. The 2021 first-round pick has had some impressive moments, but at some point we’re going to have to stop pointing out ordinary linebacker plays, like making a stop against the run.
While Washington rests on its laurels and goes to battle with the same soldiers every week, the rest of the NFC East is motivated to get better.
Take the upstart New York Giants for example. Even after a dream 3-1 start, general manager Joe Schoen is trying to bolster the roster. How he’s doing that? By hosting Collins for a free agent visit on Monday, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Former Commanders S/LB Landon Collins is visiting the Giants.
This is a clever move by the Giants.
Of course, Collins was a second-round pick of the Giants in 2015 and made three Pro Bowls with New York, culminating in an All-Pro campaign in 2016 when he finished third in Defensive Player of the Year voting. From there, Collins inked a six-year, $84 million contract with Washington during the 2019 offseason.
It’s no secret Collins didn’t live up to that mammoth deal. His three years in Washington were marred by injuries and poor coverage.
In 2021, Ron Rivera and Co. answered fans’ prayers by moving Collins closer to the line of scrimmage as a linebacker/safety hybrid. The 28-year-old became a godsend for the Commanders’ defense in that role, otherwise known as the buffalo nickel. On top of wreaking havoc in the run game, Collins was effective as a pass rusher.
Long viewed as an inevitable cap casualty in the offseason, Collins’ play in the second half of last season had fans clamoring for his return. Ultimately, the two sides failed to agree on a restructured contract and Washington released Collins, who had a $16.082 million cap hit for 2022, after it acquired Carson Wentz.
Collins has been looking for a home ever since. With seemingly limited willing buyers, the veteran defender now has the chance to return to East Rutherford and become a leader and impact player in Wink Martindale’s exotic defense.
The Commanders and Giants have yet to play this season. If both sides work out a deal, Collins could play against his former team twice in 2022.