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A tag for Landon Collins? Deadline is here, and the answer is ‘no’

Giants make it official that they won’t tag star safety

NFL: New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals
Landon Collins
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Giants players are reacting on social media to the news that Landon Collins won’t be given the franchise tag, and will become a free agent.

The New York Giants have made it official that they will not use a franchise or transition tag on safety Landon Collins.

The two sides could still reach a contract agreement before or after free agency opens next week. Still, this could mean the team’s 2015 second-round pick ends up elsewhere next season.

Collins quickly took to social media to say goodbye.

There will be much more reaction to this decision, but there is this bit of explanation as of now:

Tuesday is deadline day for the New York Giants to use either the franchise or transition tag on Landon Collins to guarantee the talented safety won’t reach the free agent market a week from now.

Surprisingly, it seems like the Giants are willing to let the deadline pass and take their chances with the 25-year-old three-time Pro Bowler.

I was also told the “consensus” around the league is that the Giants won’t tag Collins, a move that would cost an estimated $11.2 million against the salary cap.

GM Dave Gettleman spoke at length about Collins and the tag during the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.

“It’s how the money lays out,” said Gettleman, pointing out that the Giants actually have far less to spend that the $27 million shown by Over The Cap.

“You’ve gotta go into the season with $8-10 million in space. If you don’t go into the season with 8-10 in space if someone gets hurt you’re playing a rookie. You can’t go out and and get a ...,” Gettleman said.

“So now that conversation’s different, isn’t it? Now it’s man, they’ve only got $17 million. Nothing can be done in a vacuum. It can’t. You’ve gotta look at the whole picture, the whole package. We’re not done.”

Gettleman also spoke about the idea of distractions, appropriate now that we know there is a possibility Collins will not report if he is tagged.

“Let’s go to the conversation of eliminating distractions,” Gettleman said. “You tag a guy, he’s mad, and that’s all you guys are going to write about. So, I have to say to myself ‘is it worth it?’

“I don’t understand where the tag became such a terrible thing for a player to get tagged, but that’s me.”

For what it’s worth, Spotrac calculates Collins’ value on the open market at five years, $46.8 million, or roughly $9.3 million per year.

This is a hard move to understand, if indeed it is what happens. It doesn’t seem like good on-field business for the Giants, a team that needs help on all levels of what was a leaky defense in 2018, to risk losing a 25-year-old who might be their best defensive player.

Still, business is business and that appears to be where the Giants and Collins are.