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Safety Landon Collins plans to sign with the Washington Redskins

NFL: Chicago Bears at New York Giants Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After weeks of speculation that former Giants safety Landon Collins would be connected with the Indianapolis Colts at the beginning of free agency, the 25-year-old has an agreement in place to sign a massive deal with the Washington Redskins. Josina Anderson of ESPN was the first to report, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirming :

Earlier today, Schefter suggested that the final two teams in on Collins were both the Redskins and the Colts. It wasn’t too long after that Collins made his mind up, as a six-year, $84-million deal was too much to turn down on the first day of legal tampering. His deal reportedly includes $45 million guaranteed, all of which is paid out in the first three seasons.

It remains unknown whether or not the Colts were legitimately in on Collins, but it’s hard to say that general manager Chris Ballard was looking to pay the 2016 All-Pro safety an average of $14 million a year. That sum would make him the third-highest paid talent on the team, behind only wide receiver TY Hilton ($15-m cap hit in 2019) and quarterback Andrew Luck ($27.5-m cap hit in 2019). Ballard’s persistence to build through the draft and not overspend in free agency most likely meant the team wasn’t willing to pay the significant sum that Washington presented.

Collins’ signing is a big contract for the safety position, after a small market during the 2018 free-agency period left several talented players unemployed through the 2018 season. While the apparent top safety is off the board, other big names such as Earl Thomas, Adrian Amos, Tyrann Mathieu and others still remain available.

For the Colts, they’ll need to decide whether to bring in one of those previously mentioned names or to bring back one of their own free agents. Clayton Geathers, Mike Mitchell and J.J. Wilcox are all unrestricted athletes, while Matthias Farley is a restricted free agent.