"I hope, I hope, that's big shoes to fill," Collins told reporters Thursday at his introductory news conference. Collins joined the Redskins by signing a six-year, $84 million contract Wednesday in free agency.
The three-time Pro Bowl selection and 2016 All-Pro wore No. 21 during his four seasons with the New York Giants. He wore No. 26 at Alabama. Collins posted a digital depiction of himself wearing a No. 27 Redskins jersey on Instagram after news of the signing broke.
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder presented Collins with an autographed and game-worn Taylor jersey Wednesday night during a dinner. Collins said he broke down into tears when he received the gift.
"When he told me that it was a game-worn jersey signed by him in the box, instantly broke down, instantly, straight into tears," Collins said. "He handed the box over, he tried handing me the box, I couldn't take the box, I couldn't move, shaking ... it took me about 30-45 minutes to calm down, I couldn't even eat."
"It took me a minute but it's an honor and I really appreciate it Mr. Snyder, I really do."
Taylor was slain during a home invasion in 2007. Collins wore the No. 21 in New York go honor his idol. Taylor made the Pro Bowl twice during his two seasons with the Redskins after being selected as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft out of Miami. He died at 24 years old.