The Patriots are in talks with free agent linebacker Jamie Collins, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). If signed, the deal would bring Collins back to the team and system that made him a star.
Collins became an integral part of the Patriots’ defense after being selected in the second round of the 2013 draft. He truly broke out in 2014 when he became a full-time starter for the club in 2014 and, in 2015, he earned his first ever Pro Bowl selection after notching 5.5 sacks, a strong showing for an off-the-ball linebacker.
Before the 2016 trade deadline, the Patriots shipped Collins to the Browns. Collins was in his contract year and pushing for a high-priced deal that the Patriots were unwilling to give him. Collins was also said to be “freelancing” – going into business for himself on plays to ensure that he would add to his tackle total. Clearly, that didn’t sit well with Bill Belichick & Co., but they could be willing to let bygones by bygones in 2019.
Collins’ Browns run came to an end in March when the Browns released him instead of paying him upwards of $10MM for the upcoming season. Last year, Collins registered 104 tackles and four sacks across 16 games, but he graded out as just the No. 58 ranked LB in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.
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