The 49ers need to improve their depth at safety, and a big name is hitting the open market.
Landon Collins was informed by the Giants on Tuesday that he will not receive the franchise tag, making him an unrestricted free agent. The news was first reported by NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.
The #Giants have now informed S Landon Collins that he won’t be franchise tagged, putting a top player on the free agent market, sources say.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 5, 2019
Collins responded by thanking the Giants, who selected him No. 33 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft.
relationships I have built in the building and in my community. Now on to the next chapter.... pic.twitter.com/nc9rhcqLKm— LANDON COLLINS (@TheHumble_21) March 5, 2019
As he said, now it's on to the next chapter. Will that be with the 49ers? Collins is certainly an interesting fit.
The 49ers are currently slated to have a starting combination of Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert as their safeties in 2019. More of a ball-hawking player like, say, Earl Thomas, could be a better fit. The 49ers ranked last in the NFL with only two interceptions last season and 37 passes defensed.
A team that has only won 10 games the last two seasons, however, should always seek a talent like Collins.
How Collins has started his NFL career is nothing short of elite. He was named to his third Pro Bowl in four seasons last year and was a First Team All-Pro in 2016. Collins is the only player in the NFL to have at least 400 tackles and 30 passes defensed since entering the league in 2015.
But he's also coming off a season where he missed the final four games due to a torn labrum and can be exposed in the passing game against tight ends or running backs in space. What he gets paid compared to what he wants to get paid will be an interesting development.
Factor in the fit later. One of the most talented safeties in the game is up for grabs, and the 49ers have to at least entertain the possibility.