Yes, yes they have. In what is widely being considered an awful and unexplanatory move, the Giants elected to part ways with 3 time Pro Bowl, and former All-Pro Safety Landon Collins, who was also a team captain. Today at 4:00 there was a deadline for teams to place franchise tags on players who either sign it, and play under a year long deal at the average price of what the top 5 paid players at the position make, which would’ve been $11.5 million for Collins. The other option after being franchised, is the team and player can negotiate a long term deal.
Months ago, Collins, told The Michael Kay Show (ESPN 98.7 NY) that he was hopeful to return to the Giants and would play under the franchise tag. After these comments, and the Giants not trading Collins at this past seasons trade deadline, indicated that the team was going to place the tag on Collins. This changed however when last week Josina Anderson of ESPN reported that Collins had cleared out his locker and said goodbye to his teammates.
Rather than tag him, the Giants let the former second round pick from Alabama walk for absolutely nothing with no explanation.
This leads fans, reporters, and experts to wonder, what were the Giants thinking? Some have offered topics for discussion as to why Collins wasn’t tagged, citing things such as his subpar pass defense, and his not fitting into Defensive Coordinator James Bettchers defense. Many however, even with this information, find that to be awful excuses for the Giants to not retain the 3 time pro bowler who lead NFL Safety’s in defensive stops over the past three seasons by a wide margin. Another poor excuse is salary cap. Let me debunk that real quick. The Giants have $25 million in cap space this offseason. Nothing as crazy as the jets $104 million, but still enough to be able to return the only bright spot on the Giants below average defense. Not to mention, this same team pays an aging Eli Manning over $22 million, and Oliver Vernon, who can’t stay on the field, $17 million. Good teams plan for the salary cap, not be caught off guard by it.
If you want to take one of those reasons, pass defense, fit into the defense, or salary cap, I can live with that, but come out and tell us why. Dave Gettleman has done nothing but create questions since joining the Giants. He or John Mara owe Giants fans an answer as to why an All-Pro wasn’t even offered the franchise tag. Now, if it was on of those mentioned reasons, fine. However, that’s not something that the Giants could’ve, or should’ve decided since Halloween night (the NFL trade deadline). This is clearly something the Giants front office have known about for a long time. Why does that matter? It matters because instead of walking for nothing, you should’ve traded Collins and gotten SOMETHING. Why not? We traded Snacks Harrison and Eli Apple for picks, if you knew you didn’t want Landon Collins after this season why not trade him for picks?! This is what is upsetting Giants fans. We can live with Collins going, but we can’t agree why Collins should walk for nothing. That is gross malpractice by the Giants front office, who was offered a third round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs prior to the deadline.
Imagine trading a 25 year old All-Pro/Pro Bowler for a pick? Giants fans would’ve been outraged, but wow does a third round pick sound great compared to absolutely nothing.