Patriots

Duron Harmon: Jamie Collins' 2016 trade was 'eye-opening experience'

Duron Harmon: Jamie Collins' 2016 trade was 'eye-opening experience'

FOXBORO – In Bill Belichick’s first decade with the Patriots, jaw-dropping personnel decisions – additions and subtractions both – became routine.

I’m talking about those from-the-rafters moves like shipping out Lawyer Milloy or Richard Seymour or bringing aboard Corey Dillon or Randy Moss.

But this decade it was a little quieter. Until Halloween of 2016. That’s when Jamie Collins was traded to the Cleveland Browns. Duron Harmon said Thursday the move was an NFL epiphany for him.

“He was a Pro Bowler and a second-team All-Pro the year before,” Harmon said after one of the Patriots' OTA workouts. "Any time that happens you’re shocked because it’s your friend. I think that was probably one of the first real eye-opening experiences where I realized this is a business. We came in together, we’re great friends and he’s here one moment and the next moment he’s all the way in Cleveland."

The Collins trade illustrated how time in a Patriots uniform can be fleeting. But what happened post-trade was the real lesson. Individually, Patriots players could hate the deal down to a man. But as a team, they pocketed the indignation and went about proving Belichick right even if they thought he was wrong. They improved.

Now Collins is back and Harmon – a close friend – is happy for that.

“Me and Jamie came in together (in the 2013 draft class),” said Harmon.  “We’re friends. When he went to Cleveland we stayed in contact and we kept talking. The relationship didn’t break. We all know, he’s a tremendous football player. Athletic ability through the roof and he’s just about to come in here, do what he do and earn his spot wherever it is. Play hard and help us try to win football games.”

Even if the trade to Cleveland felt like an exile, Collins did get the payday he hoped for: a four-year, $50 million deal that he realized $27 million of. As Harmon tells it, there is no hesitancy on Collins' part about coming back.

“He’s excited to be back, so that’s always good when the excitement is there,” he said. “I’m really just looking forward to seeing him out there again, seeing him with us, building that chemistry and doing everything we can to make sure we got the best defense come the first game.”

With Collins in the mix, the Patriots are better now than they were on Tuesday. Everybody's a little bit older. But they're also a little bit wiser.

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New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian injured on Monday Night Football

New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian injured on Monday Night Football

The New York Jets are playing the New England Patriots in Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season. And ahead of that game, it looks like they could be down their top two quarterbacks.

The Jets were already without their starting quarterback Sam Darnold as the second-year passer battles mono. But against the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football, they may have lost their backup quarterback too.

In the second quarter of the game, Trevor Siemian was hurt after taking a hit from Myles Garrett. On the play, Siemian bent over backward awkwardly and appeared to injure his ankle in the process. While he was able to hobble off the field, he went to the locker room almost immediately. He was a woeful 3 of 6 for just 3 passing yards while being sacked twice before the injury knocked him out. 

If Siemian can't play in Week 3 against the Patriots, they will be still be licking their chops as they look at the resume of his backup. Siemian was replaced by third-string quarterback Luke Falk who has been on three different teams (Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, Jets) since being a sixth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He hadn't played an NFL snap before entering Monday night's game.

While the Patriots were likely looking forward to facing Siemian, they'll hardly complain if given a chance to face Falk in what could be his first NFL start. Their defense has been stellar to start the season, so they shouldn't have much of a problem containing a Falk-led Jets attack.

Perhaps they'll be able to build on their historic start to the season as they look to start the season 3-0 with two divisional victories.

Phil Perry's Report Card: Pats D gets straight A's in win>>>

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Tom Brady, Jamie Collins, Stephon Gilmore make PFF's Team of the Week

Tom Brady, Jamie Collins, Stephon Gilmore make PFF's Team of the Week

The New England Patriots were dominant against the Miami Dolphins in their 43-0 Week 2 victory. And they are getting quite a bit of recognition for their strong performance.

Three members of the Patriots were named to Pro Football Focus' Team of the Week for their strong effort against the Dolphins. They were quarterback Tom Brady, linebacker Jamie Collins, and defensive back Stephon Gilmore.

These players getting the nod is certainly not a surprise, especially Gilmore. Arguably the league's best cornerback, Gilmore earned a player rating of 92.6, good for the highest of any player on the Team of the Week. Per PFF, he allowed a passer rating of just 12.5 on throws his way and, of course, he had an excellent pick-6 during the contest.

Collins matched Gilmore's pick-6 and then some against the Dolphins. He led the team in tackles with 5, got 0.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles for loss, and was able to log two interceptions including the pick-6. He looks rejuvenated in his second stint with the Patriots and should continue to serve as an athletic playmaker for their defense.

As for Brady, he led a steady offensive attack on Sunday, putting up a 124.7 passer rating while completing 20-of-28 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns. While the offense didn't start clicking in full until the second half, Brady was still steady as ever and didn't make many, if any, mistakes outside of some disconnects with his new weapon, Antonio Brown.

The three Patriots on PFF's Team of the Week definitely deserved the nods for their solid play, but they won't think much about the accolade. They'll be more focused on their upcoming Week 3 meeting with the New York Jets as they look to start the season 3-0.

Phil Perry's Report Card: Pats D gets straight A's in win>>>

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