Giants fans unhappy with Dave Gettleman’s decision to let Landon Collins go are going to be really upset to learn he’s headed to the Redskins.
Dave Gettleman wasn’t willing to pay big money to keep Landon Collins in New York, but clearly the Redskins front office felt differently. Washington has chosen to make Collins the highest paid safety in the game to bring him to the nation’s capital.
The safety’s deal with the Redskins could pay him as much as $84 million over the next six years. At worst, Collins will receive $45 million in guaranteed money during the next three seasons. The overall package slots him in just above the Chiefs’ Eric Berry as the highest paid safety in NFL history.
The Redskins decision to sign Collins certainly means the end of HaHa Clinton-Dix’s brief time in Washington. The team acquired him from the Packers last season but he didn’t have the immediate impact that head coach Jay Gruden was looking for at the back-end of his defense.
Collins should be an immediate upgrade over what Clinton-Dix gave the team last season. He also is a solid fit for what the Redskins look for out of their strong safety position. Collins isn’t the best cover guy in the NFL, but he does a really solid job of handling plays in the box. Look for his physicality to be a big hit with Redskins fans next season.
The question about this free agency move, as always, is a matter of the price tag. Collins is a good player, but he’s not the best safety in the league. It’s fair to say the Redskins needed to pay a premium for him in free agency, but this seems like a slight stretch. In particular, guaranteeing him $15 million per season for the next three years is a big investment for a team that isn’t a safety away from becoming a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
The good news for the Redskins front office is that Collins may not be the highest paid safety in the league for long. Guys like Earl Thomas, Tyrann Mathieu and LaMarcus Joyner should also be in line for significant paydays in the coming days. It’s very possible one of their deals will eclipse what Washington gave Collins.
Ultimately, this deal is a significant overpay for the Redskins, but at least they are getting a Pro Bowler in the prime of his career. That means it won’t really hamstring their salary cap flexibility moving forward. It’s not our favorite move of free agency, but it’s not terrible either.