Landon Collins

Giants Activate OLB Elerson Smith, Place OL Ben Bredeson On IR

The Giants have shuffled some players onto and off of the injured reserve list today, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, activating second-year pass rusher Elerson Smith from IR and placing offensive lineman Ben Bredeson on IR.

Smith missed the first eight games of his rookie season, as well, while dealing with hamstring issues. In very limited defensive snaps when he returned, Smith only amassed eight total tackles but flashed some ability with a forced fumble and two quarterback hits. Near the end of his rookie season, Smith was placed on IR with a neck injury, but that wasn’t the issue heading into this season. This year a lower leg ailment has held Smith out of the first seven games of the year. He is set to make his season debut, subbing in behind Jihad Ward and Leonard Williams.

Bredeson has been a starting guard for the Giants this season after getting traded from the Ravens last year. Bredeson first got a taste of the starting offense last year when filling in for Nick Gates and was named the starting left guard to start the year after an injury to Shane Lemieux in the preseason. With Bredeson set to miss extended time, the Giants can turn to Gates, rookie third-round pick Joshua Ezeudu, or another former Raven in Tyre Phillips.

The Giants made two gameday elevations from the practice squad today, in addition to the IR moves. Veteran safety Landon Collins and converted tight end Lawrence Cager will be active for Sunday afternoon’s matchup with the Seahawks.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/22/22

Here are the league’s minor moves going into Week 7:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

NFC East Notes: Wentz, Cowboys, Collins

Although Carson Wentz scrutiny has intensified over the past two seasons, he has not missed time due to injury in that span. But the Commanders quarterback will be playing hurt for the time being. Wentz is battling a right biceps tendon strain, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com, who adds this issue injected some doubt into the seventh-year quarterback’s availability against the Bears on Thursday night. Wentz will play and hope he can improve during Washington’s upcoming mini-bye.

Wentz, who has thrown 10 touchdown passes this season, ranks 24th in QBR going into Washington’s Week 6 game. Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Another player who has dealt with a litany of injuries, Jason Peters may return to action sooner than expected. A chest injury was rumored to affect the 40-year-old lineman’s status for multiple weeks, but after going through practice Wednesday, Peters declared himself “ready to roll” for Sunday night’s Cowboys-Eagles tilt (via The Athletic’s Jon Machota, on Twitter). Peters practiced in a limited capacity to start the week. He has played in two games with Dallas, seeing his Week 4 snap count (34) rise from his Cowboys debut (22). Peters has rotated in with both Connor McGovern and Matt Farniok at left guard this season.
  • Dalton Schultz aggravated the knee injury that forced him to miss Week 4. The franchise-tagged Cowboys tight end returned to action in Los Angeles but left the game due to his PCL issue flaring up, Pelissero tweets. While this is a bit concerning, Pelissero adds no new damage occurred. Schultz still has a chance to play against the Eagles. Schultz got in a limited practice Wednesday. Like fellow tagged tight end Mike Gesicki, Schultz has not made much of an impact this season. He will enter Week 6 with nine catches for 80 yards and no touchdowns.
  • Landon Collins initially left the Giants after Washington blew him away with a six-year, $84MM offer in 2019, but the veteran defender said he wanted to stay in New York. “I would have definitely loved to be here. It sucked,” Collins said, via the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz, of leaving New York three years ago. “I honestly wanted to stay but [former GM Dave] Gettleman didn’t want me here. Had to take my chances somewhere else.” The Giants, who drafted Collins under a previous regime, did not submit an offer to the former second-rounder on the way out. Collins, who caught on with the Giants’ practice squad last week, is not expected to be activated this week, per Schwartz. But the Pro Bowl safety-turned-linebacker is ramping up toward a near-future hybrid role. Collins, 28, said he wants to retire with the Giants. His 2022 play will determine how realistic that prospect is.

Giants To Bring Back Landon Collins

Landon CollinsGiants visit did not immediately produce a deal, but the sides nevertheless will agree to reunite. Collins is joining the Giants on Thursday, Josina Anderson of CBS Sports tweets.

It is a practice squad deal, according to Fox Sports’ Ralph Vacchiano (on Twitter). Collins played for the Giants from 2015-18, making three Pro Bowls with the team, but left as a free agent in 2019. The Commanders made him a cap casualty earlier this year.

Although Collins operated as a pure safety during his first tour with New York, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler notes the current Giants regime is planning on using him as a linebacker (Twitter link). Collins played a hybrid role to close out his Washington tenure. The Giants have been active in bolstering that position this week, having also reached an agreement with veteran off-ball ‘backer A.J. Klein, who joins Collins on Big Blue’s P-squad.

The Giants now have a host of recognizable names at inside linebacker, having reunited with Jaylon Smith as well. The former Cowboy standout-turned-Giants 2021 spot starter saw the most usage alongside Tae Crowder at linebacker for the Giants in Week 4. Smith’s 2022 Giants debut involved 31 defensive snaps. Between Smith, Collins and Klein, it is safe to say the team — which made Blake Martinez a surprise 11th-hour cut — viewed this position as a belated priority.

As for Collins, this is certainly an interesting reunion. The Giants did not make him an offer to stay in 2019, when the former second-round pick’s previous level of play made him a franchise tag candidate. Big Blue passed there, too, leading Collins to Washington on a then-safety-record six-year, $84MM deal. Washington, which changed regimes a year after Collins’ arrival, cut bait on that deal halfway through.

Pro Football Focus viewed Collins as a plus run defender last season, and Ron Rivera‘s club wanted Collins back — just not on a $16.1MM cap number. After the sides could not reach a pay-cut agreement, the Commanders designated Collins a post-June 1 cut. No free agency buzz followed the seven-year veteran, who will obviously take a substantial pay cut to continue his career.

While Collins drifted off the Pro Bowl radar in Washington, he earned invites from 2016-18 in New York. Collins’ 2016 breakout season led to first-team All-Pro acclaim. That year, the Alabama product delivered versatile work (125 tackles, four sacks, five interceptions) to establish himself as one of the league’s top young safeties and help the Giants to their most recent playoff berth. Once the Giants canned GM Jerry Reese, it became clear replacement Dave Gettlemen did not value him on the same level. But after the Gettleman regime let Collins walk, he will circle back to the Giants under a third regime.

Giants Meet With S Landon Collins

Off the radar since his Commanders release, Landon Collins resurfaced in a familiar place. The veteran safety met with the Giants on Monday, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets.

The Giants made Collins a second-round pick back in 2015. That was two regimes ago, with then-GM Jerry Reese pulling the trigger on that draft investment. The Dave Gettleman regime did not make re-signing Collins a priority in 2019, leading to a then-safety-record Washington agreement. But GM Joe Schoen put the seven-year veteran back on the team’s radar.

Collins’ three-year Washington run wrapped after the sides could not agree on a revised contract. The Commanders wanted to keep the hybrid safety-linebacker, just not at the price his contract called for. Collins, 28, was set to count a Commanders-high $16.1MM on their 2022 cap sheet. The team designated him a post-June 1 cut but cut the cord in March. The Alabama product was not notably connected to landing a deal in the offseason’s ensuing months.

Big Blue passed on going to the six-year, $84MM place Washington went for Collins in 2019, but the Giants’ decision to let Collins hit the market — passing on a franchise tag — surprised many. Gettleman’s regime never made Collins an offer to stay. Collins, however, did not prove worth the deal Washington authorized. He missed much of the 2020 season due to a knee injury but did bounce back by playing his hybrid role in 13 games in 2021. Collins made a career-high three sacks, recovered two fumbles and registered 81 tackles (seven for loss) last season.

With the Giants, Collins was a three-time Pro Bowler who burst onto the scene with an All-Pro season that helped the 2016 team to the playoffs. The former Crimson Tide star posted 125 tackles, five interceptions and four sacks that year. The current NFL no longer views Collins as being on that level, but the Giants are still taking a look at a reunion. The team, which released Logan Ryan and let Jabrill Peppers walk this year, lost starter Julian Love to a concussion on Sunday.

Nine Teams Gain Cap Space From Post-June 1 Cuts

Although early June no longer serves as a stretch in which a wave of veterans are released for cap-saving purposes, June 2 still serves as an important calendar date for certain teams annually. Nine teams qualify as beneficiaries this year.

Eleven players were designated as post-June 1 cuts this year, via CBS Sports’ Joel Corry. Due to a longstanding CBA provision, teams that designate players as post-June 1 releases see the dead-money burden lessened for that year. Teams can designate up to two players as post-June 1 releases each year.

Here are 2022’s post-June 1 cuts, along with the belated cap savings the teams picked up Thursday:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Las Vegas Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

As detailed in PFR’s glossary, post-June 1 cuts spread dead-money hits over two years. These teams will be taking on dead money this year and next. A few of the 2023 hits are substantial, but the league’s cap-space hierarchy changed significantly Thursday as well.

Because of multiple restructures, Raiders will carry $9.9MM in Littleton dead money next year. The Cowboys will take on $8.7MM in 2023 for cutting Collins, while the Titans will be hit with $8.4MM for their Jones release. Cleveland, which just gave David Njoku a $14.2MM-per-year deal, will carry a $7.5MM dead-money cost next year due to shedding Hooper’s eight-figure-AAV deal early. The Eagles will be tagged with $11.5MM for their Cox cut, with Corry noting that is the net difference because of a $3.2MM salary cap credit regarding Cox’s 2022 bonus proration. Philadelphia re-signed the perennial Pro Bowler on a one-year, $14MM deal.

Hooper’s release pushes Cleveland’s cap space to beyond $40MM; the Browns’ overall cap-space edge is now a whopping $15MM. That should help the team address multiple needs ahead of training camp. Other teams have more options now, too. As of Thursday, the Raiders hold the NFL’s third-most cap space ($22.5MM, per OverTheCap). The $10MM the Cowboys saved moves them up to fourth in cap space ($22.49MM), while the Bears ($22.2MM), Commanders ($18.4MM) and Seahawks ($17MM) now sit fifth, sixth and seventh.

A handful of this year’s post-June 1 cut crop joined Cox in taking advantage of the modern setup, which allows these cap casualties to become free agents immediately — rather than waiting until June to hit the market. In place since the 2006 CBA, this adjustment let veterans loose early while keeping their cap figures on teams’ payrolls through May. Collins quickly joined the Bengals, while Littleton landed with the Panthers, Hooper signed with the Titans, and Phillips returned to the Bills. The remainder of this group remains unsigned. The savings this lot of teams inherited Thursday may help some of these players’ causes in free agency.

Commanders To Cut Landon Collins

The Commanders are set to release Landon Collins (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The two sides tried to come to terms on a pay cut, but the safety preferred to try his luck on the open market.

The old regime gave Collins a six-year, $84MM deal in 2019. That pact made him the first safety in league history to crack the $14MM/year mark. Now, midway through the megadeal, the Commanders are going to bid farewell to the 28-year-old. Releasing Collins will save $6.6MM against roughly $10MM in dead money for 2022.

By all accounts, the Commanders would have been happy to keep Collins — just not at his $16.1MM cap figure. To his credit, Collins was mostly healthy in 2021, appearing in 13 games as a linebacker/safety. Plenty of teams will have interest in the veteran, though he won’t match his previous deal. This year’s safety market — headlined by the likes of Marcus Williams, Tyrann Mathieu, and Jessie Bates III – offers more bang for the buck elsewhere.

Collins finished 2021 with 81 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and three sacks across 13 games. Now, he’ll look to reassert himself elsewhere when free agency opens on March 16.

Commanders Seeking Landon Collins Pay Cut

Landon Collins was the first safety to secure a contract worth at least $14MM per year. Three years after authorizing that deal, Washington plans to give the hybrid defender an ultimatum.

The Commanders are asking Collins to take a pay cut, John Keim of ESPN.com tweets. If the veteran refuses, the team will cut him. A Collins release would save the Commanders $6.6MM while saddling the team with nearly $10MM in dead money.

This is not the same front office that gave Collins a six-year, $84MM deal in 2019, and although Keim adds the Ron Rivera regime would like Collins to stay, they do not plan to retain him on a team-high $16.1MM cap number (Twitter link). Collins, 28, bounced back from an October 2020 injury to play in 13 games last season. Washington deployed the former second-round pick as a linebacker-safety hybrid, and the team would use him in that capacity again in 2022 — if he agrees to the pay reduction.

“Yeah, for what he does and playing that position, he can be a dynamic guy for us,” Rivera said of Collins’ hybrid role, via the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala. “He’s a guy that made an impact when he played that position.”

Known more for his box work than coverage skills, Collins would not come especially close to matching his current average salary on the market. The ex-Giants Pro Bowler would certainly draw interest and would help the Commanders this season if retained. Although he did not factor in prominently to Washington’s top-five defense in 2020, Collins finished with 81 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and three sacks last season.

Washington has Kamren Curl tethered to his rookie deal, but 2021 pickup Bobby McCain is a free agent and Deshazor Everett is embroiled in serious legal trouble. The team wants to retain McCain, Jhabvala adds. McCain, 28, has also played multiple positions as a pro, moving between safety and cornerback. He started 16 games last season. Washington signed McCain, whom the Dolphins cut, to a one-year accord worth close to the league minimum last year.

Washington Football Team Makes Christmas Eve Roster Moves

This afternoon the Football Team in our nation’s capital announced a number of roster moves leading up to their Sunday Night matchup in Dallas.

Washington was thankful to add some players back to the active roster from the reserve/COVID-19 list. Backup quarterback Kyle Allen, safety Kamren Curl, undrafted free agent linebacker Milo Eifler, and starting cornerback Kendall Fuller all made their way off the COVID list. They did lose defensive end Nate Orchard to the COVID list, though.

The return of Curl will be welcome as Washington placed starting safety Landon Collins on IR, along with rotational defensive end Daniel Wise. Curl spent most of his rookie season filling in for Collins as the starting safety last year.

Defensive back and core special teams player Deshazor Everett was placed on the reserve/Non-Football Injury list following a car accident that killed the passenger of the vehicle, 29 year-old Olivia S. Peters. It was reported by Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post that Everett was taken to the hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries. The wreck is being investigated and it sounds like the Football Team is awaiting the results of the investigation before taking any further action.

The last move affecting Washington’s active roster was the release of defensive lineman Akeem Spence. Spence signed a week ago amidst the surge of COVID-19 positive tests.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/24/21

Here are the NFL moves from Christmas Eve:

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team