The New York Giants will work out former Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals tackle La’el Collins, per Mike Garofolo of NFL Network. Ian Rapoport initially reported that Collins worked out for the New York Jets on Tuesday.
Both New York football teams find themselves in desperate need of tackle help in the absence of their best offensive linemen. The Giants have been without second-team All-Pro left tackle Andrew Thomas since Week 2, and head coach Brian Daboll didn’t seem all that optimistic that he’ll play this week. The Jets, meanwhile, just lost right tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker for the season for the second consecutive year.
The question right now is how ready for football Collins is. He tore his ACL and MCL in late December last year. He started the season on the PUP list with the Bengals before Cincinnati released him, saving them more than $7 million in cap space. It is less than 10 full months since the injury, and the average return time from an ACL tear alone is 10½ months.
Just as importantly, how well can Collins even play right now? When he was last in action in 2022, he posted a 44.2 Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade, which ranked 67th out of 69 qualified tackles. Interestingly, his pressure rate was roughly at the league average for tackles (5.5%), but the grade was so poor possibly in part because Joe Burrow got the ball out very quickly (2.49 seconds, on average, the second-fastest among quarterbacks).
Collins’ run-blocking grade was far better in 2022, ranking 18th at 73.5. Still, his overall grade of 57.9 ranked 59th among tackles. Is another bad pass-blocker what the Giants need, particularly one coming off major knee surgery?
The flip side of this is that Collins had an excellent season just one year earlier, ranking 13th among tackles with an 82.0 PFF grade. That included an 89.8 run-blocking grade (fourth) and 76.2 pass-blocking (24th). That version of Collins would be a welcome addition to a battered Giants line.
The Giants likely want to assess Collins’ physical conditioning and recovery as part of his visit. It remains to be seen whether anything will come of it, particularly with the interest from the Jets, as well.
Other Giants moves
Per the league’s transaction wire, wide receiver Cole Beasley (practice squad IR) has been designated to return. Wide receiver Cam Sims and cornerback Amani Oruwariye were terminated from the practice squad.
The Giants are also adding veteran offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste to their practice squad. Cajuste is a 2019 third-round pick of the New England Patriots. Cajuste has played in 17 career games with five starts. All of his offensive line snaps have come at right tackle.