The Patriots are on the verge of reuniting with Jamie Collins. The linebacker will sign with New England this week to kick off his third stint with the club (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com). This deal is not quite final yet, per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe (on Twitter), but the sides are talking about a reunion.
Collins is expected to fly to New England on Wednesday morning, per Albert Breer of SI.com, who adds the team has made an offer to the veteran defender (Twitter link). Should Collins’ physical check out, it would seem he is set for his third stint with the Patriots. He is on track to reunite with Matt Patricia, who also trekked back to the Pats after being fired by the Lions.
The Lions cut Collins in late September when they couldn’t find a suitable trade for him. Clearly, his stock has cooled, but he’s just two years removed from a standout season with the Pats. He used that year as a springboard to a three-year, $30MM deal in free agency with the Lions under the Patricia-Bob Quinn power structure.
Collins was signed by the Lions’ old regime, so Dan Campbell opted for a youth movement instead. The Lions ate $11MM+ in dead money by cutting the soon-to-be 32-year-old; the Pats are getting him for a whole lot less. This is a similar development to Collins’ previous return to New England, which signed him shortly after the Browns cut bait on a big-ticket contract during the 2019 offseason.
Used as a hybrid player in New England, Collins made the Pro Bowl in 2015 with 5.5 sacks and an NFL-high five fumbles. The Southern Miss product later turned in a seven-sack 2019. And, just last year, he was credited with 101 tackles. In his limited two-game sample this season, Pro Football Focus rated him as a top-25 off-ball ‘backer.