Safety Landon Collins, formerly with the New York Giants, won't be leaving the NFC East anytime soon. He'll be heading down I-95 to Washington D.C., having just agreed to terms on a six-year contract with the Redskins.
Arguably the biggest move so far in 2019 free agency, Collins' new deal helps set the price for the many other safeties on the market. That makes this transaction doubly interesting for the Dallas Cowboys.
Sources: Former #Giants star S Landon Collins is signing a 6-year deal for a whopping $84M with the rival #Redskins. Hard to imagine a box safety with this kind of deal after last year’s slow safety market. This moves the market dramatically.
On its own merit, seeing a top player like Landon Collins stay in the NFC East isn't ideal for Dallas. But perhaps more importantly, it validates the $14-$15 million per season that potential Cowboys target Earl Thomas is reportedly looking for.
While Thomas is about five years older than Collins and coming off a season-ending injury, he's also arguably the best cover safety in the NFL. That is becoming more valuable all the time as the league increasingly pass-focused.
It's also worth nothing that Collins and Thomas have the same agent, who will likely feel obligated to get Earl at least the same amount if not more.
The Cowboys have stated they don't want to spend that kind of money in free agency. However, upgrading the safety position is one of the clearest ways that they can improve their defense from last season.
This does not end the discussion of Earl Thomas coming to Dallas. He still could accept a little less to come to the team he wants to play for, and in a state with no income tax. Or the Cowboys could finally decide that they need to make a big move to push the team to championship contention.
But this Landon Collins signing does certainly play big factor now in any future negotiations.