Landon Collins checks the boxes, would fit well with Colts

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A three-time Pro Bowl safety and a tackling machine who is just 25 years old is about to hit the free-agent market.

The Indianapolis Colts, who finished 11th in total defense in 2018, are a team that could use help at safety.

Landon Collins seems like a perfect fit, right?

That’s what it appears after the New York Giants declined to give Collins the team’s franchise tag, allowing him to become a free agent.
Colts general manager Chris Ballard approaches free agency with his eyes open, but he also knows when to say when as far as overspending.nfl cheap jerseys nike

Being able to sign Collins would make up for the Colts passing on him in favor of taking receiver Phillip Dorsett with the 29th pick in the 2015 draft. Staff members, according to sources, weren’t all on the same page on Collins, who was selected in the second round by the New York Giants.9

The option of pursuing Collins wouldn’t even been a discussion if the Colts were definitely going to re-sign safety Clayton Geathers, who was selected in the fourth round that year. Ballard says he loves Geathers and wants to re-sign him, but the Colts might let him test the free-agent market first.

“If we think it’s the best thing for our team, we will always try to do the right thing,” Ballard said at the NFL combine. “If we see a player — even if we have a good player at the position — if we think this guy is the one who will put us over the top, we’ll make the move.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Geathers, like Collins, is an in-the-box safety. But unlike Collins, Geathers has an unfortunate history of injury problems. Geathers missed 23 games during his four seasons in Indianapolis. Collins, who has a reputation for strong leadership skills, missed only five games in his four seasons with the Giants, but is coming off shoulder surgery. He missed the last four games of the 2018 season after surgery to repair a torn labrum.

Collins, if healthy, would pair well with third-year safety Malik Hooker. Hooker is a free safety who roams well from the middle of the field. Collins checks off several important boxes necessary in defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus’ system. Collins, whose coverage skills have been questioned in his career, can play down in the box and he’s an exceptional tackler. One of the things the Colts excelled at last season was tackling in the open field. Collins had at least 104 tackles in three of his four seasons with the Giants.

“Because of the way we play, the eight-man fronts, we ask our safeties to do a lot,” Ballard said. “They’ve got to drop in the box and be able to play the run in the eight-man front. They’ve got to be able to play in a half field. We’re going to ask them to play man-to-man sometimes on a slot and on a tight end. We put a lot on the safety position.”