Now part of the cause for a divisional rival, Landon Collins is using the New York Giants, his former employers, as extra inspiration.
Landon Collins has 84 million sources of inspiration this season. He’s more than happy to add one more.
Collins spoke with Ryan Dunleavy of NJ Advance Media as he plans to continue to host the celebrity softball tournament bearing his name. It will probably the last time New York Giants fans cheer for him.
The safety will go from blue to burgundy in the Giants’ rivalry with the Washington Redskins after signing a deal that will pay him $84 million over six years. He hopes to use the get-together as a final farewell to the New York area.
“At the end of the day, when I was a Giant or if I’m not a Giant, I feel like I’m a part of this community,” Collins told Dunleavy. “I didn’t want to shut it down and end it like that. I’ll be saying my final goodbyes to my fans and handing the baton off to somebody. I want to have a good time and be a part of something special.”
Once the season starts, however, all bets are off.
“I’ve got a lot of motivation for the next six years.”
Collins was “heartbroken” that the Giants failed to even make him an offer before he joined up with the Redskins. The Giants chose him out of Alabama in the second round of the 2015 draft. He’d go on to reach three Pro Bowls in a Giant uniform, also earning All-Pro honors in 2016.
Nonetheless, he was made available in trade talks once the Giants’ season went haywire for the second straight year. New York started the year 1-7 after going 3-13 the year before. They managed to win half of their remaining eight games, though Collins missed the final four with a torn rotator cuff. He earned 96 tackles in what became his final season in blue.
The trade rumors convinced Collins his days in New York were numbered.
“(The Giants) never made an offer,” Collins said. “I knew when they were about to trade me how it was going to go. Very, very eye-opening.”
Collins won’t have to wait long to return to MetLife Stadium. The Giants and Redskins will play the first of their yearly pair in September 29’s Week 4 slate.
The softball game will be held at Palisades Credit Union Park in Ponoma, NY, home of the independent Rockland Boulders on June 8. Collins organized the event with Giants superfan Joe Ruback, also known as “License Plate Guy”. Proceeds will benefit St. Christopher’s, a non-profit charity based in Westchester, NY.