EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Versatile veteran Landon Collins is returning to the New York Giants, it was announced Friday.
Collins signed to the team's practice squad to start, with the expectation that he could be used in a variety of roles in coordinator Wink Martindale's aggressive defense.
The Giants' second-round pick in 2015 has played both safety and, in recent years, linebacker. He spent the previous three seasons in Washington.
Collins' career started promisingly for the Giants. He finished third in the NFL Defensive Player of the Year voting in the 2016 season, when he had 125 tackles, 4.0 sacks and 5 interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown the last time New York played in London.
Collins joined the team overseas as the Giants (3-1) return to London this week to play the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
New York has now added veteran linebackers Jaylon Smith, A.J. Klein and Collins to the practice squad in recent weeks. Smith was elevated to the active roster for Sunday's 20-12 win over the Chicago Bears and had six tackles.
Klein on Thursday was signed to the Baltimore Ravens' roster. Collins will take his spot on the Giants' practice squad.
Collins had been a free agent after not being able to agree on a restructured contract with the Commanders in the offseason.
Washington signed Collins to a six-year contract worth $84 million in the 2019 offseason after four seasons with the Giants. He had three years left on his contract at the time of his release. Washington altered Collins' role early last season, using him in a hybrid safety/linebacker role. That change coincided with improved play by the Commanders' defense. He finished last season with 81 tackles, 2 interceptions and 3 sacks.
Injuries disrupted his last two seasons with Washington. He ruptured an Achilles in Week 7 of 2020, and he missed four games with injuries last season. He was placed on injured reserve for the final three games because of a foot injury.
Collins, who turned 28 in January, made three Pro Bowls with the Giants and was a first-team All Pro in 2016. He did not make a Pro Bowl with Washington.
In seven seasons, Collins has 11 interceptions, 10 sacks, 676 tackles and 7 forced fumbles.
ESPN's John Keim contributed to this report.