Landon Collins: Ranking 4 Best Landing Spots for the Washington Commanders Safety

The Washington Commanders have been busy over the past couple of days. In the front office’s latest move, the team appears on the verge of parting ways with Landon Collins.

According to ESPN’s John Keim, sources advised Washington would be releasing the veteran safety to create more salary-cap space. Collins was under contract through the 2024 season, but he would count $16.2 million against the salary cap if the team retained him. By cutting the 28-year-old, the Commanders will save $6.6 million against the cap, leaving $9.6 million in dead money.

The Alabama product has spent the past three seasons in Washington after playing for the New York Giants from 2015 to 2018. He recorded 239 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, six sacks, and three interceptions in 35 games for Washington.

Collins is no longer the player he once was, but he should garner plenty of interest in free agency.

Commanders safety Landon Collins in action against the Eagles
Landon Collins of the Washington Football Team looks on while facing the Philadelphia Eagles | Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

4. Dallas Cowboys

Landon Collins has played his entire NFL career in the NFC East, meaning the Dallas Cowboys are very familiar with him. Jerry Jones and the front office are in an interesting position heading into free agency. The team has five safeties hitting the market with not much money to spend.

The Cowboys are currently $1.1 million over the salary cap. They would love to bring Jayron Kearse back after his breakout season, but he’s likely to get more money elsewhere. If Dallas loses him, it might be wise to take a shot at Collins. He’s a player Dan Quinn could move around a bit, as he might be more effective as a linebacker. Fortunately, the Cowboys could use help there, too.

Quinn helped turn the defense around in 2021, but it must continue to improve if it wants to go further in 2022. Landon Collins may no longer be a game-changer. However, he could be a serviceable option and provide valuable veteran experience.

3. Carolina Panthers

The Commanders parting ways with Landon Collins could be good news for the Carolina Panthers. Defensive coordinator Phil Snow’s unit could undoubtedly benefit from adding depth to the secondary.

The Panthers were one of the NFL’s top defenses early in the season, but things fell apart as the weeks progressed. They finished in the bottom half of the league, allowing 305.9 yards and 23.7 points per game in 2021.

Starting strong safety Juston Burris is an unrestricted free agent. It’s unclear what his market will look like, but it wouldn’t hurt Carolina to take a look at Collins as a potential replacement. He wasn’t great in pass coverage, but he’s an asset in stopping the run. The Panthers were a middle-of-the-pack run defense, and the Commanders safety could give them a boost in that department.

2. Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens could also be in the market for safety help in free agency. DeShon Elliott is an unrestricted free agent who should get decent interest from other teams when he hits the market. He is coming off a torn biceps, which may or may not hurt his stock. The Ravens probably want him back if they can afford him.

If Elliott walks, Baltimore seems like the perfect kind of squad to take a flier on Landon Collins. The Commanders safety plays a physical brand of football, something the Ravens pride themselves on.

New defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald would likely need to have a conversation with Collins, though. The Ravens finished dead last in pass defense in 2021, allowing 278.9 yards per game through the air and 31 touchdowns on the season. The 3-time Pro Bowler is a liability in coverage. Still, he could help if he’s willing to make the switch to linebacker.

1. Philadelphia Eagles

Landon Collins seems like a perfect fit in Baltimore. However, the Philadelphia Eagles could offer him more money. The seventh-year safety is a cap casualty, so he could be looking to get paid wherever he lands. The Eagles have $20.5 million in cap space.

Philadelphia must address the defensive side of the ball in the offseason, primarily the secondary. Both of the team’s starting safeties, Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris, are hitting the free-agent market. Pursuing Collins wouldn’t be a bad idea.

The Eagles were just an average defense in 2021. Adding the Commanders safety won’t make a world of difference in the grand scheme of things. But he could still be a solid piece as long as he buys in. If Landon Collins accepts that he’s no longer a Pro Bowl-caliber safety, he could prolong his career as an NFL starter.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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