The Washington Redskins have signed safety Landon Collins for a whopping 6-year/$84 million ($45 million guaranteed) deal, making him the highest paid safety in the league. He would essentially be paid $14 million a year, and the Redskins have the option to restructure the contract after 3 years, or part ways with the guaranteed money.
The 25-year old totaled 428-total tackles in his four seasons with the Giants, and is easily considered among the best tacklers among the position. Idolizing the late Redskins safety Sean Taylor growing up, Collins’s game has come to specializing in a down hill presence, who can make critical tackles in the box and keep the opponent’s running game in check. With the 17-ranked run defense in the league last year, this is an upgrade to the defense where it clearly lacked.
Talks of overpaying Collins begin to emerge, however, when examining the holes in his mediocre coverage abilities. Ranked dead in the middle at 15th on pass defense, this leads to some interesting possibilities on how things may play out for defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, who took the reins of heading the defense only just last year.
One interesting point of note is the influx of players on the defensive end who’ve played football under coach Nick Saban at the University of Alabama. Along with the addition of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix last year from the Packers, Collins will be rejoining Crimson Tide teammates Jonathan Allen, Da’ron Payne, and Ryan Anderson on the defensive roster. Hopefully all the defensive schemes they studied together back in college will translate to the same domineering chemistry that won them BCS title after title.
With the surprise move of cutting safety D.J. Swearinger earlier in the offseason, who had unequivocally been the Redskin’s vocal team leader on-and-off the field last year, it’s obvious that they desperately need someone to fill that role. Collins has palpable heart on the field, and has played that role in the Giants locker room during his time their, but those are extremely big cleats to fill, as Swearinger had been the only consistent bright spot on an otherwise crumbling defense. Collins is sure to make an impact, but now it’s about if it’s worth the money.