Washington commanders set to release security Landon Collins as part of salary cap change

Washington commanders are expected to release veteran security Landon Collins, creating more salary cap space but costing them a valuable defender, a source told ESPN on Thursday.

Collins, who still had three years left on his contract, was expected to count $16.2 million against the salary cap this season. His release will save Washington $6.6 million from the cap, but he will still have $9.6 million in dead money. According to a source, Washington had tried to reach an agreement to lower its ceiling.

News of Collins’ planned exit was first reported by NFL Network.

Washington changed Collins’ role early last season, using him in a hybrid safety/linebacker role. This change coincided with improved gameplay by defending commanders.

Through the first six games, most of which featured Collins as the starting safety, Washington’s defense — which had a number of other issues — ranked 32nd in points and 31st in total yards. In the next six, after Collins took over the hybrid role and served as third safety, Washington’s defense ranked ninth in points and fourth in yards.

Commanders coach Ron Rivera said Collins was a dynamic player in the role. But Collins clarified that, even if he accepted the role, he preferred to be a full-time security guard.

Injuries have disrupted his last two seasons with Washington. He ruptured an Achilles in Week 7 of 2020 and he missed four games with injuries last season. He was placed on the injured list for the last three games with a foot injury.

Washington signed Collins to a six-year contract worth $84 million during the 2019 offseason.

Collins spent his first four seasons with the New York Giants, who selected him in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. While in New York, Collins made three Pro Bowls and was a first-team All Pro in 2016. He didn’t make the Pro Bowl with Washington.

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