Many fans might not have heard of Anthony Collins, but the NFL sure knows who he is. He’s been the Bengals’ swing tackle for years and he’s always shown well when given the chance, grading out above average on Pro Football Focus in limited action in every season since 2009. In 2013, he was given his biggest chance yet, with Andrew Whitworth moving to left guard in place of the injured Clint Boling and Anthony Collins taking over at left tackle. Collins played a career high 592 snaps and didn’t allow a sack or quarterback hit all season, finishing as Pro Football Focus’ 24th ranked offensive tackle despite the limited action.
While this deal is an obvious step up from the cheap two-year deal he signed with the Bengals in 2012 to stay as their swing tackle, Collins deserved to be paid like an above average blindside protector and that’s exactly what this deal does. Collins gets 30 million over 5 years with 15 million guaranteed, which is squarely behind what Branden Albert, Eugene Monroe, Jared Veldheer, and Rodger Saffold got this off-season and Collins has every chance to be just as good once he gets a full 16 game season.
I don’t love this deal or anything because Collins is not the secret to the NFL that he is to the common fan, so the Buccaneers had to pay proper market value for him, but it’s still a very solid move by them and they didn’t overpay. Collins will be an upgrade over an aging and overweight Donald Penn, who goes into his age 31 season in 2014 and who was just Pro Football Focus’ 31st ranked offensive tackle last season. Penn will be cut in a corresponding move, assuming they can’t trade him, either of which will save them 7.4 million in cash and cap space, which is less than Collins will cost. It’s a win for the Buccaneers.