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Landon Collins Defends Odell Beckham Jr., Criticizes Giants' Free Agency Decisions

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 5/21/2019 Alaa Abdeldaiem
a close up of a baseball player holding a bat © Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Washington Redskins safety Landon Collins believes the Giants made a mistake in letting him, Odell Beckham Jr. and Damon Harrison go ahead of the 2019 season.

According to ESPN's Jordan Raanan, Collins said New York spent the offseason attempting to rid the roster of players who were "too vocal" and had expansive non-football platforms to create a "culture change." In addition to himself, those players included Beckham, pass rusher Olivier Vernon, Harrison and cornerback Eli Apple.

"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 said. "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."

Collins added that he was shocked that the Giants traded Beckham and Harrison despite their prominent contributions to the team. The Giants traded Beckham to the Cleveland Browns in March, while Harrison was sent to Detroit in October. 

"[Most surprising] would be between [Harrison and] Odell. You got the best run stopper in the game, he went to the Lions and showed his tail off," Collins said of Harrison.

"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 continued. "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."

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Collins was also especially critical of general manager Dave Gettleman. According to Collins, Gettleman "never even talked to me, basically" and had a reputation for being "all business."

"I wish he'd 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."

Collins, a three-time Pro Bowler, signed a six-year deal worth up to $84 million with the Washington Redskins in March. The fifth-year satefy said he was happy to be with a team that wants him on the roster.

"I'm on a team that loves me and wanted me here," Collins said. "I think the Giants are going in a different direction with the guys they want, and they feel as though they work better for their scheme."

The Giants and Redskins will meet for the first time in 2019 on Sept. 29 at MetLife Stadium.

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