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Patriots Trade LB Jamie Collins To Browns

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The New England Patriots, always seemingly ahead of the curve in terms of player contract negotiations, have traded star linebacker Jamie Collins to the Cleveland Browns for a third-round draft pick, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Collins was in the final year of his rookie deal and sources say he was looking for “Von Miller type of money.”

The Patriots are one of the very best teams in terms of picking and choosing which guys to pay, and they apparently felt that Collins was going to exceed their budget for the linebacker position and they opted to get some compensation for a player who would no longer be with the team past this season.

New England did something similar with former first-round pick Chandler Jones, as they traded him to the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason.  Jones was their best pass rusher, but he too was going to be a free agent this offseason. He responded to the Collins news via his Twitter account.

Collins is one of the most versatile linebackers in football as he can both rush and cover.  There’s no question about the quality of player he is, but there have been whispers about him freelancing too much on the field which likely drew the ire of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

What do the Browns get out of this?

They get a really good defensive player for roughly eight games before he hits free agency.  The timing of the move for Cleveland is certainly questionable, as the team is 0-8 and going nowhere.  One would think that they would like to hold on to one of their much needed draft picks as there are holes all over the defense (and the offense).

Before we laud New England for making another brilliant move, let’s wait and see how much they end up missing Collins.  This is a team that has let defensive stars walk in free agency and also consummated deals for more draft picks in the past.  Lawyer Milloy, Richard Seymour and Asante Samuel immediately come to mind.

Although it’s always better for a team to get rid of a player a year too early rather than a year too late, if the Patriots defense ends up missing Collins and they don’t win the Super Bowl as expected, what will that 2017 third-round draft pick really be worth?

 


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.