Landon Collins is headed for free agency, leaving the Giants with a new glaring hole to fill on their defense.
The Giants informed the three-time Pro Bowl safety Tuesday that they were not using the franchise tag on him.
That's good news for Collins, who was reportedly adamant about not wanting to be tagged, even entertaining the idea of holding out deep into the preseason and, depending on whom you asked, clearing out his locker. Collins has had his sights set on signing on a long-term contract.
"I want to thank the Giants organization for believing in me and allowing me to have 4 great years in NY," Collins wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. "I can’t express how great it was to play with my teammates and in one of the greatest cities in the world. I will forever cherish my time in the blue and white and the relationships I have built in the building and in my community. Now on to the next chapter."
The Giants had until 4 p.m. Tuesday to decide whether to place the franchise tag on Collins, 25, to prevent him from hitting the open market. The Giants then would have had until July 15 to agree to a long-term contract with him.
The projected salary for a safety under the franchise tag in 2019 is about $11.15 million. The Giants think highly of Collins but viewed the tag number as too high, according to reports.
Collins had no interceptions in 2018 with Big Blue. In his first four seasons, he had 428 combined tackles, 321 solo tackles, eight interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and three forced fumbles. He was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2016.