Jamie Collins is now a free agent, and numerous signs point toward the possibility of him becoming a New York Giant.
He’s now out for the season — a huge blow considering Martinez was the team’s leading tackler last year.
The Giants must move forward and could potentially replace Blake with an in-house option such as Reggie Ragland or second-year man Carter Coughlin.
However, the Detroit Lions did just release Jamie Collins; this move was possibly made at the perfect time for Big Blue.
Should the Giants pursue an acquisition of the veteran linebacker?
Collins’ Fit and Playstyle
While with Detroit, Collins primarily served as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme and would be assuming the same type of role in Patrick Graham’s defense. He would be performing alongside Tae Crowder and would need to be that run-stopping tackling machine that Martinez is.
Luckily, Collins is capable of portraying that type of talent — Jamie racked up over 100 combined tackles just a season ago.
Collins also sports a versatile side to his game, which is something Graham and head coach Joe Judge would adore. Pass-rushing abilities are present; Collins just racked up 7.0 combined sacks in 2019.
Overall, Collins recorded a 75.8 Pro Football Focus grade in 2019 and a 64.2 grade in 2020.
Collins carries experience playing for numerous guys on this Giants coaching staff.
He was with Joe Judge in New England from 2013-16 when Judge was the special teams assistant/coordinator. This type of familiarity has led former Patriots to East Rutherford, including the likes of Logan Ryan and special teams ace Nate Ebner.
Not to mention, Patrick Graham was also with Collins in New England and was Jamie’s position coach. Graham served as the Patriots linebackers coach from 2014-15, with the latter season being Collins’ lone Pro Bowl campaign.
The Ever-Increasing Age Possibly Affecting a Contract
The problem with signing Collins, however, is that he’s on the wrong side of 30 years old — Jamie will be 32 in around three weeks.
It’s a tough ask to have a soon-to-be 32-year-old linebacker replace a reliable star like Martinez, especially when your defense is already struggling and you’re trying to turn a season around following an 0-3 start.
Not to mention, the age diminishes the upside of the signing. It’s not like this is someone that could impress in hopes of earning another payday after this season. Collins is a one-year-contract type of player given the age; one would call a “rental.”
But if the Giants are willing to ink him to a short-term deal for him to play 14 games (plus the playoffs if they somehow reach them), it could likely be a cheap move. This would be convenient due to the organization’s current lack of cap space (the Giants own less than $1 million in space at the moment).