The New York Giants look quite different under general manager Dave Gettleman, who saw to it that the team parted ways with two of the NFL’s most talented and productive young stars — safety Landon Collins and receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
They aren’t the only ones Gettleman sent packing: he also traded defensive linemen Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison, and cornerback Eli Apple.
Collins believes all five have something in common.
‘We were too vocal’
The Giants made no attempt to extend Collins or even franchise tag him; the 2015 second-round pick has been to the last three Pro Bowls and was voted first-team All-Pro in 2016.
He signed a six-year contract with Washington in March at the start of free agency.
“I know with myself, [Harrison], Odell, [Vernon], all we wanted to do was win, and we spoke up because we had to get them to listen to us,” Collins told ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. “We had to get them to get us winning pieces to help us at least be contenders.
“I think we were too vocal, and that platform was bigger than the Giants, you know, and our words stood out more. And … if it’s not good media, they don’t want that kind of media.”
New York was just 5-11 last season, and traded Harrison and Apple when the team was 1-6.
Gettleman kept him in dark
Collins said Gettleman kept him in the dark during what ended up being his final months with the team, something that likely sounds familiar to Carolina Panthers players who dealt with him when he was the GM with that franchise — like his new teammate, cornerback Josh Norman.
According to Collins, Gettleman “never talked to me basically,” though at the opposite end of the spectrum, the safety spoke highly of Giants owner John Mara, noting the two had a text exchange after Collins left that he appreciated.
“I wish [Gettleman would] say something. Try to,” Collins said. “I mean, he had come around, shake your hand, say, ‘Good job, big fella,’ or something like that. But honestly, talking to him, or saying anything, having a full conversation or anything with him, nothing.
“I mean, he basically … I don’t know him, he don’t know me, that’s kind of how it just kind of was.”
Defending friends, teammates
Collins called Harrison “the best run-stopper in the game” and was surprised he was traded to the Detroit Lions for a fifth-round draft pick.
He was even more surprised to see Beckham, whom the Giants had signed to a massive contract extension just months earlier, traded and reiterated a defense of the receiver he’d offered recently.
“You got OBJ, the best receiver in the game, and you get rid of him because you think he’s … a locker-room problem?” Collins said. “And, knowing him personally, knowing him, how he was as a person and as a brother to me, and a brother to everyone in the locker room, he made sure everybody in the locker room was smiling … and he went out there to work, each and every day. He didn’t say nothing when he came to play in a football game. He didn’t say nothing when he came to practice. All he wanted to do was win.”
With Washington, Collins feels wanted and wants to rack up wins — especially the two times a season his new team faces his old one.
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