The New York Giants have 29 pending free agents as we approach the 2019-20 NFL season. Many are players who you would be hard-pressed to recognize, having barely set foot on the gridiron.
Then there are names like B.W. Webb who have found their way into the circles of doubting New York sports fans courtesy of a few miscues.
But there is one man on this list who certainly cannot be allowed to leave. There is no justification whatsoever for it.
That man is Zak DeOssie. Two Pro Bowls, two Super Bowls. DeOssie has become the gold standard of long snappers in the game. After 12 years with Big Blue it would be a crime for him to be let go.
Oh but there is one other man who may be more important to retain then DeOssie.
Since being selected 33rd overall in 2015, Collins has become an absolute force, and the central anchor on the back end of the Big Blue defense.
Collins has justifiably been named to the last three Pro Bowls, and was named an All-Pro in 2016, when he registered five interceptions, 13 passes defensed and 125 tackles.
In fact, last season Collins played only 12 games due to injury, and still tallied 96 tackles.
You also cannot overstate the value of Collins’ vocal leadership on a Giants defense that has risen and fallen inconsistently the last few seasons. Collins brings the size and strength needed to play in the box, while adding the speed and range to help cover over the top. The only concern is will the torn labrum in his shoulder linger and become a problem.
If the Giants are concerned about the injury, the Franchise Tag needs to be applied. There’s certainly no one else on the list of pending free agents who is worth more (apologies to Mr. DeOssie). You can’t let a three-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro walk out the door when you have the ability to stop him.
If not the franchise tag, then Dave Gettleman needs to start talking about a long-term contract, because Collins is an outstanding talent, who is only getting better by the year.