Free agent offensive tackle Anthony Collins is choosing between the Buccaneers, Panthers, and returning to the Bengals, tweets Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. According to Auman, all three teams’ offers for Collins include comparable money.
Collins, 28, has been linked to the Buccaneers since before the free agent period officially began, and was viewed by some observers as a near-lock to sign with Tampa Bay. However, the Bengals remain in the hunt to keep their own player, and the Panthers, in search of a replacement for the retiring Jordan Gross, are a surprise contender for Collins’ services.
Having spent his first six NFL seasons in Cincinnati, Collins has never had an extended run as a full-time player, starting no more than seven games in any season for the Bengals. However, he was excellent in his 673 offensive snaps last season, never recording a negative grade in a game, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required). If he can maintain that type of performance in full-time action, he could be one of the steals in this year’s tackle market.