The Giants relationship with Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins has the potential to take a messy turn if the team uses the franchise tag on him.
According to multiple reports, talks toward a new contract for the 25-year-old safety have yet to commence. This lack of communication has reportedly left Collins frustrated and confused over where he stands with the club.
On Wednesday, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said that the club was “still evaluating” whether to apply the franchise tag on lat year’s defensive co-captain, claiming that money could be an issue.
However, the Giants financial situation—they were estimated to have approximately $27 million of cap space—is fluid.
The league has not yet announced the 2019 salary cap and the Giants could still approach some players with over-inflated contracts about restructuring to clear out space.
On Friday, reports emerged that Collins, if he’s franchised, might refuse to sign the tag and that he could skip the off-season program, OTAs and summer training camp if he does receive the franchise tag.
By declining to sign the tag until the start of the season, Collins, who is recovering from year-end shoulder surgery, would hold the estimated $12.037 million franchise tag cost hostage.
There is also the strong potential of the situation creating a distraction for the players and coaches who will no doubt be peppered with questions about updates and reactions n the situation.
Last week, ESPN reported that Collins cleaned out his locker and bid farewell to teammates and staff.
However, reports quickly emerged shortly thereafter that Collins didn’t clean out his locker, though the safety later chimed in via Twitter to clarify that the stuff that remained in his locker were items he didn’t need.
The Giants have until March 5 to decide whether to apply the franchise tag or the lower-cost ($10.268 million) transition tag on Collins.