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.