In a stunning move, the Patriots traded free-agent-to-be Jamie Collins to the Browns for a compensatory third-round pick. The news, first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, was announced by the Patriots Monday afternoon.
While the Patriots moving on from Collins given the potential financial burden of signing him, Dont’a Hightower and Malcolm Butler is conceivable in theory, the return of a third-round pick makes the move more surprising. Collins was drafted in the second round of the 2013 draft and became an All-Pro player for New England.
Making matters more confusing is that the pick acquired by New England is compensatory, meaning it will be at the end of the third round. The 2017 draft is the first draft in which compensatory picks can be traded.
The Patriots now have their own picks in rounds No. 1 through 3, a compensatory third-rounder from Cleveland, Seattle’s fourth-round pick, Denver’s fifth and Detroit’s seventh. They do not have their own fourth-round pick, as it was forfeited as part of their Deflategate punishment. The Pats don’t have their own fifth, which they gave up in a trade for Barkevious Mingo, or their sixth-round pick, which they moved to Detroit for Kyle Van Noy.