The New York Giants may be planning a reunion with All-Pro defensive back Landon Collins.
Collins, who is currently an unrestricted free agent and last played with Washington in 2021, will be in New York to visit the Giants on Monday, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.
“Reunion in the works?” Fowler tweeted on Monday morning. “Free agent safety Landon Collins is visiting the New York #Giants on Monday, per sources, returning to the place where he made three Pro Bowls and an All-Pro team. Collins would give N.Y.’s defense a hybrid linebacker/safety option if they reach agreement.”
The Giants took down the Chicago Bears, 20-12, on Sunday, but the victory cost them some key players. In the defensive backfield alone, safety Julian Love (concussion) and cornerback Aaron Robinson (knee) both sustained injuries against the Bears.
With the Giants pretty banged up, Collins could provide a much-needed lift in the secondary. He is only 28 years old and should be healthy after missing the end of last season with a foot injury, according to Ralph Vacchiano of FOX Sports.
What Landon Collins Could Bring to the Giants’ Defense
The Giants originally drafted Collins with the first pick in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. The Alabama product became an immediate starter as a rookie, and by his second season, he was named first-team All-Pro.
Collins made three straight Pro Bowls with the Giants from 2016-2018, then found himself at the center of a heated contract dispute. That ultimately led to him leaving in free agency, where he signed a six-year, $84 million contract with Washington in 2019. The Commanders released Collins after he refused a pay cut earlier this year.
With Washington, Collins battled injuries and struggled to make a consistent impact. Before that, however, he was a premier playmaker with the Giants. Remember this pick-six he had against the Rams in London back in 2016?
The timing for Collins’ visit couldn’t be more perfect. The Giants are headed to London next week, where they’ll take on the Green Bay Packers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Collins has started all 94 of the NFL games in which he has appeared, including 59 with the Giants. He has 676 career tackles (41 for losses), as well as 11 interceptions, 10 sacks and seven forced fumbles since 2015.
Why the Giants Are Looking For Help at Linebacker/Safety
Recent injury concerns aside, the Giants have been looking for answers at the second level of their defense. New York actually had Landon Collins’ visit scheduled before suffering the rash of injuries on Sunday, according to Art Stapleton of The Record.
Ever since the release of starting inside linebacker Blake Martinez right before the season, the Giants have been using a patchwork unit to hold the linebacker group together. Tae Crowder had been underwhelming as a starter until the Bears game, and they recently brought back Jaylon Smith to help keep the unit afloat.
In Week 2, the Giants had to use safety Xavier McKinney as a linebacker in order to contain Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey. The influx of athleticism at the position helped, and that’s what New York may ask Collins to do for them. The “linebacker” designation was a sticking point for Collins in the past, Stapleton noted on Twitter, but a lot has changed since the two sides last negotiated.