The new Lions regime is looking to trade Jamie Collins. The team has taken calls on the veteran linebacker, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), and intends to use younger players on its defensive second level the rest of the way.
Signed during the Lions’ Bob Quinn–Matt Patricia regime, Collins is attached to just a $3.8MM base salary this season and is under contract through 2022. The Lions gave Collins a three-year, $30MM deal in 2020 and restructured it in March. This reworking figures to make Collins a bit more appealing on the market.
The Lions held Collins out of practice today, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets, providing a potential indication a move could happen soon. They would take in more than $11MM in dead money by trading Collins.
Collins, 32 in October, is familiar with the trade block. The Patriots dealt him to the Browns ahead of the 2016 deadline. Collins played in Cleveland through the 2018 season before re-signing with the Pats during the ’19 offseason. His bounce-back season with New England led to another big-ticket contract.
Detroit has used Collins as a starter in each of its first two games, but the team has begun a rebuild and would stand to benefit from giving younger talents more time. After his strong 2019 season, Collins notched his fourth 100-plus-tackle slate in 2020 by registering 101. He also forced three fumbles last year.
The Lions shifted to a 3-4 look this year, moving Collins to an inside role. They also signed Alex Anzalone, who joined new DC Aaron Glenn in coming north from New Orleans, and drafted Derrick Barnes in the fourth round. A Collins trade would open the door for more Barnes playing time. Through two games, Pro Football Focus slots Collins 24th among off-ball linebackers. A contender in need at the position could certainly do worse. This year’s trade deadline is Nov. 2.
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