By STEPHEN WHYNO AP Sports Writer
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — A person with knowledge of the move says the Washington Redskins have agreed to sign safety Landon Collins to an $84 million, six-year deal with $45 million guaranteed.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal cannot become official until free agency opens Wednesday. The deal is worth an average of $14 million a season.
Collins joins the NFC East-rival Redskins after the New York Giants let him go to free agency rather than keeping the 25-year-old with the $11.2 million franchise tag. He led the Giants with 96 tackles last season and his 437 since entering the NFL in 2015 are the most among safeties in that time.
Getting Collins fills one of Washington’s biggest needs on a defense that ranked 17th in the league last season. The team acquired safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix from Green Bay at the 2018 trade deadline, but he is set to be a free agent. D.J. Swearinger was released late in the season after repeatedly questioning the coaching staff and was claimed off waivers by Arizona.
Collins said before he was drafted 33rd overall by the Giants in 2015 that he always wanted to play for the Redskins because he idolized Sean Taylor. Collins models his game after Taylor, the hard-hitting safety who died after being shot at his home in Florida in 2007.
In 59 career games with the Giants, Collins had eight interceptions but none last season.
Collins’ situation is reminiscent of when the Carolina Panthers let cornerback Josh Norman go by rescinding the franchise tag after his All-Pro season in 2015. The Redskins then signed him to a $75 million, five-year contract.
Giants general manager Dave Gettleman was then GM of the Panthers, which led Norman on Monday to tweet , “In ‘Gettleman’ WE Trust (All-DBs) securing the” money.
The irony is that Norman is among the players who could be released to save salary-cap space. Releasing Norman would save the Redskins $8.5 million after three seasons with them.
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