Landon Collins named as one veteran who could be on the chopping block in 2021

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Washington safety Landon Collins was beginning to get comfortable in Jack Del Rio’s defense before an Achilles injury in Week 7 ended his 2020 season.

That injury paved the way for seventh-round rookie Kam Curl to move into the lineup to prove himself as a viable starting safety.

Now, Collins is healthy and ready to get back on the field in 2021.

Throughout the offseason, Washington’s coaches, specifically defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, have said both players will play. But with training camp just a few weeks away, could Washington be looking to unload Collins?

Patrik Walker of CBS Sports recently looked at one veteran from each NFL team who could be on the chopping block this summer. Walker named Collins as that guy for Washington.

Collins broke the bank in 2019 when he agreed to terms on a six-year, $84 million deal in Washington. And while that’s wonderful for him as a player, it’s time to begin assessing if his production supports a continuation of such a mammoth deal. Collins was available for only seven games in 2020 because of a torn Achilles and wasn’t exactly dominating before he went down with the season-ending injury. This means Washington has to be damn sure he’ll not only return to form physically after a devastating injury, but that he’ll also return to an All-Pro level in the process. Otherwise, they won’t be able to justify his $16.92 million cap hit in 2021 (second-highest on the team). An outright release wouldn’t yield enough savings to outweigh his presence, but trading him would see Washington net $12.72 million in savings.

Walker makes several valid points. But one thing is certain, no one is trading for Collins. Not happening. Who would take on that type of contract? No one.

And, as tempting as it may be for Washington to release Collins, it just doesn’t make sense until after the 2021 season. Collins is due to count almost $17 million against the salary cap in 2021, just behind franchised right guard Brandon Scherff.

The best Washington can hope for is a completely healthy Collins resembling his former All-Pro self. That would give the Football Team another defensive weapon on what figures to be one of the best units in the league.

But, as we’ve learned with head coach Ron Rivera, you can’t rule anything out.