Jamie Collins

LB Jamie Collins Retires

After 10 years of playing in the NFL, linebacker Jamie Collins has reportedly decided to hang up his cleats, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN. The former Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro will retire after time playing with the Patriots, Browns, and Lions.

Drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Southern Miss, Collins was New England’s top pick of the year. It didn’t take long for him to make an impact as he started eight games as a rookie. A year later, Collins exploded onto the scene as the Super Bowl winning team’s leading tackler. In 15 starts, Collins complemented his 115-tackle season with four sacks, eight tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hits, two interceptions, three passes defensed, four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries, filling up the stat sheet while leading the team in three of those other categories.

He followed that breakout performance up with an arguably better one. In 2015, the lone year in which he was voted to a Pro Bowl and an All-Pro team, Collins demonstrated an incredible nose for the football. While only playing in 12 starts, Collins had six pass deflections to go along with an interception and forced a league-leading five fumbles.

In 2016, Collins would start half the season for the Super Bowl-bound Patriots before being traded to Cleveland for a conditional third-round pick. While Collins would finish another strong outing, he would only win one more game in that season as a member of the Browns. Cleveland would sign Collins to a four-year, $50MM contract extension, but concussions and a torn MCL limited to only six starts under his new deal.

After returning to form for a full 2018 season, Collins would find his way back to the Patriots in 2019 after being released by the Browns. Collins displayed his comfort of being back in a Patriots’ jersey, recording or matching career-highs in interceptions (3, one returned for a touchdown), passes defensed (7), sacks (7.0), and quarterback hits (10).

After his one-year deal in New England had ended, Collins leveraged that strong season into a three-year, $30MM deal with the Lions, following his former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. Three weeks into the second year of his contract, the Lions released Collins after failing to find a trade partner for him.

Naturally, Collins signed back with the team that drafted him, starting his third stint in New England. He spent some time on injured reserve before ending up on the team’s practice squad in 2022 and only seeing action in three games last year.

In total, Collins played in 125 regular season games, starting 105 of them, and totaled 26.5 sacks, 12 interceptions, and 19 forced fumbles. In addition to his playmaking ability, Collins was known for his elite athleticism, making NFL history by inspiring the NFL’s ban of players jumping over the long snapper to block a PAT, something he successfully did in 2015.

Collins gave a lot to the game of football and should continue to give with his plans to coach in the future. For now, though, he’ll take a well-deserved break from the league he gave ten years of his life to.

Pats Activate DT Christian Barmore From IR

The Patriots are adding a key piece to their defense, but they’ve lost a notable player on the other side of the ball. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss (via Twitter), the Patriots have activated defensive tackle Christian Barmore from IR. To make room on the roster, New England has placed offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn on IR.

Barmore has been sidelined with a knee issue since mid-October. He returned to practice earlier this week, and he’ll now rejoin a defensive line just in time for a playoff push.

The 2021 second-round pick had a standout rookie campaign for New England, earning PFWA All-Rookie Team honors after finishing with 46 tackles and nine QB hits. He got into six games this season before suffering his injury, collecting 15 tackles and one sack. Pro Football Focus has graded him as a middle-of-the-road interior defender in each of his two NFL seasons, but they gave him above-average ratings for his pass-rushing skills.

Wynn, a 2018 first-round pick, has had an inconsistent five years in New England. After missing his entire rookie campaign, he started 33 of his 34 appearances over the next three years, and he graded out as a top-35 offensive tackle in each of those seasons (including an 11th-place finish in 2020). This year, he’s bounced around the offensive line, moving from left tackle to right tackle while losing playing time in the process. He even spent some time as offensive guard before suffering a foot injury.

The offensive lineman has been sidelined since Week 11, and with his placement on IR, he can’t be activated to the active roster until at least the start of the playoffs. Wynn will be a free agent following the season.

The Patriots have also promoted linebacker Jamie Collins from the practice squad, according to Reiss. The veteran has spent the majority of the season on New England’s practice squad.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/12/22

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Collins began his latest Patriots stint by signing with their practice squad Oct. 3, but the veteran linebacker has only played in one game this season. That also came on a Monday night — against the Bears in October. Monday will be Collins’ 87th game as a Patriot. Stints with the Browns and Lions interrupted this run, but the 2013 second-round pick has re-signed with the Patriots three times.

Marcus Mariota‘s IR move created a need for a new Falcons backup. Woodside, who was with Arthur Smith in Tennessee, will step in behind new starter Desmond Ridder this week. Ridder and Woodside are the only two QBs on Atlanta’s active roster or practice squad presently. Harris sustained a torn pectoral muscle Thursday night and will require surgery. A former fourth-round pick, Harris has bounced on and off the Rams’ active roster this season. He be retained via exclusive rights free agent tender next year.

Patriots To Promote LB Jamie Collins; QB Mac Jones Expected To Start In Week 7

When the Patriots host the Bears tonight, they will have a familiar face available on defense. New England is elevating linebacker Jamie Collins from the practice squad, as noted by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter link).

The 33-year-old signed with the Patriots earlier this month, beginning his fourth stint with the team. That was a taxi squad deal, but it was expected he would find himself on the 53-man roster sooner than later. The nine-year veteran’s lone Pro Bowl came with New England in 2015. More recently, he finished the 2021 campaign with the Patriots, where he played a backup and special teams role.

Collins will join a linebacking corps which saw plenty of turnover in the offseason. The departures of Kyle Van Noy and Dont’a Hightower left plenty of snaps available to the likes of Ja’Whaun Bentley and Jahlani TavaiHow Collins slots in at the position’s rotation with those two, along with Raekwon McMillan and Mack Wilson, will be worth watching and could dictate whether he is signed to the active roster on a full-time basis.

Pelissero also reports, meanwhile, that Mac Jones is expected to start tonight. Doing so would mark a return to the field after he missed the past three contests. It would also be in line with the timetable the 2021 first-rounder stated last week that he would follow.

Jones’ high ankle sprain is not believed to have healed in full, as indicated by his continued limited practices. Still, Jones took at least 90% of the Pats’ practice reps leading up to this interconference matchup, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk tweets. It would seem he is closer to full strength than the consistent “limited” designations would suggest.

Jones will resume a sophomore NFL campaign that has not started off particularly well. Prior to his late-September injury, the former national championship-winning passer threw three interceptions in a loss to the Ravens. Bailey Zappe‘s surprisingly productive play led some to wonder if the Patriots would slow-play their starter’s return. But Zappe will head back to the bench. With Brian Hoyer (concussion) still on IR, Zappe stands to be Jones’ backup against the Bears.

AFC East Rumors: Jets WRs, Davis, Collins, Jones

Second-year wide receiver Elijah Moore made headlines yesterday when he became the second Jets pass catcher to request a trade in the past two months. The frustration leading to the request had been building for weeks, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, as Moore hasn’t quite found the success and production he saw in his rookie season. The team sent him home from practice for a “personal day” yesterday and are not considering trading the 22-year-old.

The other receiver who requested a trade was New York’s second-round draft pick from the year before the Jets selected Moore in the second round: Denzel Mims. Mims has been a healthy scratch for the team’s first six games of the season and, according to him, a trade is “still on the table.”

Here are a few other rumors out of the AFC East, starting with some injury details up in Massachusetts:

  • Patriots safety and core special teamer Cody Davis was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. According to the Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the move is a result of season-ending surgery Davis must undergo to repair a knee injury. It’s a tough loss for the Patriots, who have always valued special teams experts, and a return to the NFL next season will pose a difficult test for Davis, who will turn 34 before he can return.
  • Veteran linebacker Jamie Collins has been serving time with his first career stint on an NFL practice squad during his tenth year in the league. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick seemed to indicate that Collins’ offseason surgery is the reason he’s not on the active roster, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN. Belichick insinuated that there’s a conditioning process that Collins will have to go through in order to earn a promotion to the active roster.
  • Although Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones is eligible to return from the team’s physically unable to perform list, the veteran starter is still not ready to play, according to Charean Williams of NBC Sports. Jones is still recovering from a March surgery on his ankle/Achilles area, even though head coach Mike McDaniel claimed multiple times that the team expected Jones back in time for the regular season. Instead, Jones remains on PUP and there is, reportedly, no timeline for his return.

Patriots Sign LB Jamie Collins

Jamie Collins is set to begin a fourth stint in New England. The Patriots are expected to sign the veteran linebacker either, reports ESPN’s Mike Reiss (Twitter link). Collins’ agent has confirmed the deal. It is a practice squad agreement. 

The 32-year-old found himself on the Patriots’ radar once again last month, when he visited the team on a workout. That came weeks after he did the same with the Raiders, whose coaching staff includes a number of ex-New England personnel. Collins has elected to take the familiar route of reuniting with Bill Belichick.

A Patriots second-rounder in 2013, the Southern Mississippi alum earned Pro Bowl honors for the only time in his career two years later. By the following season, however, he was in Cleveland, where he remained until 2018. A one-year return to Foxborough earned him another lucrative free agent deal, this time from the Lions.

That contract — like his Browns one — was terminated prematurely, however. Free to rejoin the Patriots once again, Collins started two of his 10 appearances with the team last season. He made just 20 tackles in New England, a figure which fell well short of his 101 stops the previous season.

The Patriots lost veterans Kyle Van Noy and Dont’a Hightower during free agency this offseason, leaving the team thin in at the second level. Ja’Whaun Bentley has seen an increase in workload over the past two weeks, with Jahlani Tavai taking on a starter’s role during yesterday’s loss to the Packers. The team also has Raekwon McMillan and Mack Wilson available as depth at the position, so it will be interesting to see what kind of role Collins assumes for the remainder of the season.

Patriots Meet With LB Jamie Collins

The Patriots already circled back to Jamie Collins after both his Browns and Lions releases. Following his third New England stint last year, the veteran linebacker is back on the Pats’ radar.

Weeks ago, Collins worked out for a Raiders team run by ex-Patriot staffers. He was back in Foxborough for a Tuesday meeting, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets. Despite the Browns and Lions being the teams to give Collins notable contracts, the nine-year veteran has played 76 of his 122 career games with the Patriots.

Collins Pats stint No. 3, which began with an October 2021 re-signing, did not feature the former second-round pick in as prominent a role as his second New England stay did. The 32-year-old defender started two of the 10 games he played as a Patriot last season. The former Pro Bowler made just 20 tackles with the Pats, registering a sack.

In 2019, however, the low-cost (following the Browns’ decision to bail on a $12MM-per-year deal that offseason) cog delivered one of the more versatile seasons by a linebacker in recent years. Collins notched seven sacks, three interceptions, 81 tackles and 10 tackles for loss. With Kyle Van Noy out of the picture in 2022, Collins’ hybrid skillset could be of use to a Pats team even more reliant on its defense than usual. Collins has 26.5 career sacks.

After Van Noy and Dont’a Hightower‘s exits, Ja’Whaun Bentley resides as the Pats’ top off-ball ‘backer. Raekwon McMillan‘s snap count dropped from 42 in Week 1 to 12 last week. The veteran second-level stopper missed last season with an ACL tear and is battling a toe injury. The Patriots did not use a second off-ball linebacker extensively against the Steelers. Matt Judon remains in place as the Patriots’ top edge rusher, though the team has not seen a top complementary edge player emerge during the Judon era.

Raiders Meet With LB Jamie Collins

After three Patriots stints, Jamie Collins is meeting with some familiar decision-makers. The Raiders are hosting the veteran linebacker on a visit Wednesday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Longtime Patriots OC Josh McDaniels and ex-New England executive Dave Ziegler are now running the Raiders, who have former Pats assistant Patrick Graham on board as DC. Graham was Collins’ position coach from 2014-15. This marks the first Collins connection since his most recent Patriots contract expired.

Collins, 32, has ventured out of New England twice previously; each instance brought a nice contract. The Browns, after trading for Collins during the 2016 season, authorized a monster extension not long after. The Lions, who previously had ex-Patriot staffers Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn in place, signed Collins in 2020. After the Browns and Lions cut him, in 2019 and 2021, respectively, Collins made his way back to the Patriots.

Last season, Collins worked mostly as a Pats backup. He played in 10 games (two starts) with the team that took him in the 2013 second round. The hybrid performer was much more productive for the Pats in 2019, when he notched seven sacks, three forced fumbles and three INTs — one of them a pick-six.

The Raiders made changes at linebacker this offseason, designating Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski as post-June 1 cuts. The team also did not re-sign K.J. Wright or Nicholas Morrow. Denzel Perryman remains in place, however, and the AFC West squad signed ex-Titan Jayon Brown. Collins’ history as a part-time pass rusher (26.5 career sacks, including four four-plus-sack seasons) could be of interest here as well, with the Raiders having released Kyler Fackrell with an injury settlement and placing fellow OLB addition Jordan Jenkins on IR.

Patriots Rumors: Injury Updates, Zappe, Perkins

The Patriots released some practice photos recently and, according to Zack Cox of NESN, some of the pictures seem to indicate the much anticipated returns of several previously-injured Patriots. These players included running back James White, cornerback Jonathan Jones, tight end Dalton Keene, linebacker Raekwon McMillan, and linebacker Anfernee Jennings.

White suffered a hip injury last year that required surgery serious enough to end his season and leave him bedridden for months. He hasn’t been fully cleared to return, but seeing him active on the field bodes well for his recovery.

Jones had surgery to repair his shoulder in October and missed the remainder of the season in recovery. McMillan tore his ACL before the season started, but impressed in his limited time before the injury. Keene and Jennings were both placed on injured reserve in August and missed the entire season as a result.

Here are a few other rumors from New England:

  • New England turned some heads on Day 3 of the Draft when they selected quarterback Bailey Zappe in the fourth round. At a point in the Draft where some teams normally address their positional needs, the Patriots selected a quarterback in the first draft after rookie passer Mac Jones led them to the playoffs. For an explanation, ESPN’s Mike Reiss pointed to a discussion with analysts Todd McShay and Louis Riddick, in which they cover “how it can be good business to draft and develop quarterbacks.” He also quotes former NFL general manger Randy Mueller who applauded the pick, saying that he would rather draft for value over need at that point in the Draft.
  • After not appearing in any regular season games last season, second-year Patriots outside linebacker Ronnie Perkins is ready to take the next step, according to Reiss. Perkins was buried on the depth chart behind Kyle Van Noy, now with the Chargers, and Jamie Collins, now a free agent. The departure of Van Noy and Collins leaves a hole opposite Pro Bowl pass rusher Matt Judon and Reiss reports that New England coaches are confident Perkins is getting ready to step up.

Patriots Activate LB Jamie Collins

The Patriots defense will be getting some reinforcement for tonight’s showdown with the Bills. The team has activated linebacker Jamie Collins off injured reserve, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss (via Twitter).

After beginning the season with the Lions, Collins made his way back to the Pats for a third stint. Collins played in five games since re-signing with the Pats, registering a sack and seven tackles in addition to an INT. The 32-year-old suffered an ankle injury in November that ultimately led to his placement on injured reserve. The linebacker returned to practice earlier this week.

Collins was mostly playing as a backup for New England when healthy; Collins played around 20 percent of his team’s defensive snaps in his five games. Barring an injury to one of his teammates, Collins will likely continue in that role for the rest of the season.

The Patriots also promoted two players in anticipation of tonight’s game: safety Sean Davis and defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale (per Reiss on Twitter). Ekuale has gotten into two games with the Patriots this season, compiling a sack. The former undrafted free agent has also seen time with the Browns and Jaguars. Davis, a former second-round pick, has spent time on both the Colts and Bengals active rosters this season. He’s started 42 of his 68 career games.