Patriots

Jamie Collins isn't looking back at why Patriots traded him to Browns

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Jamie Collins isn't looking back at why Patriots traded him to Browns

FOXBORO – Jamie Collins was never a guy who was going to lay his soul bare during his first go-round with the Patriots. So it wasn’t surprising that, in our first chance to speak with him since rejoining the team, he was nice enough but all about business.

“Another day on the job,” Collins said when asked about being back in familiar surroundings. “Just get out here and do what I get paid to do and that’s play football and do it to the best of my ability.”

Wearing a navy blue practice jersey No. 8 with a red hoodie underneath, Collins is back with the team that traded him away in October of 2016.

The main reason he was dealt was the team and Collins weren’t heading toward a contract extension. The Patriots got something back for him before he left in free agency. But in the short-term, Collins also hadn’t been playing well.

Asked if there was any strained feeling with the team as he returns, Collins batted the notion aside.

“I mean, it was just a change of destination, man,” he said. “I’m a professional and just have to be professional about the business. Business is business. You can’t get upset or do this or do that. I just tried to pick up where I left and move on. Take it to the next space no matter where it’s at.”

Was it an easy choice?

“It’s not just about me, man,” he replied. “I’ve got a family. I’ve got a wife and kids. I’ve always got to think about them as well. I can’t just make decisions based on myself."

There’s not much to be gleaned from an OTA practice even when the offense and defense are scrimmaging 11-on-11. There’s no forceful contact on blocks, there’s no touching the running backs and the defensive backs normally yield and don’t challenge receivers too actively. What you can gauge are things like speed and interactions.

Collins’ ability to cover massive amounts of land in a short period of time remains intact. There was one “blitz” situation when the Patriots sent probably six rushers in 11-on-11. Collins, coming from the second level, ducked through the offensive line and just materialized next to Brian Hoyer. It was confirmation of the explosiveness.

Reunited with Dont’a Hightower and now playing under inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, Collins brightened when asked about both men.

“It’s cool. It’s pretty cool. That’s like my big bro,” Collins said of Hightower. “It’s bigger than football.”

As for Mayo?

“It’s even more fun with that guy being our coach,” he said. “Like I said, it’s all business. You still got to do your job. You still got to handle your business and do it to the best of your ability. You can’t just be out here, ‘oh, it’s my boy, it’s my boy.’ We still got a job. Each and everyone has a job, so we all got to be professional and then we can handle our business later.”

Collins spent more than two months as a free agent after the Browns released him on March 6 to dodge his large salary cap hit. He re-signed with the Patriots for a $1.05M salary and just $250K guaranteed. He can make as much as $5M if hits every incentive.

“I started here,” he said when asked if familiarity played a role. “I had the opportunity to come out and start my career here. Obviously yes, that played a big factor. Like I said, whatever the opportunity is, presents itself, it’s not just me. I’ve got other people to think about. It’s a team thing.”

Collins wasn’t delving deep into his Cleveland experience except to say that what he learned was, “To do my job. Never put my head down. Don’t stop. Just keep going. It’s a business, man. I can’t fold. I can’t give up. It’s not just about me. I can’t give up. I’ve got to keep pushing no matter what.”

As for looking back at Halloween, 2016?

“No, man. It happened. I don’t live in the past. I keep pushing to do my thing and keep going.”

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Steelers star has the least surprising take on Tom Brady's free agency

Steelers star has the least surprising take on Tom Brady's free agency

Ask anyone associated with the New England Patriots, and they'll tell you Tom Brady should stay put.

Ask any Patriots opponent, and they'll tell you Brady should leave -- and never come back.

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward joined 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Zolak & Bertrand" from Radio Row in Miami on Wednesday and was asked where he thinks Brady may sign in free agency this offseason.

His answer shouldn't surprise you.

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"I hope not with New England anymore," Heyward said. " ... Let the NFC deal with him for a while. That'd be nice. He's terrorized the AFC enough."

Heyward would know. Brady's Patriots trounced his Steelers 33-3 in Week 1 of the 2019 season and have beaten Pittsburgh in six of their last seven meetings, including playoffs.

New England also has reached the Super Bowl in four of the previous six seasons and made the AFC Championship Game in eight of the last nine seasons, annually crushing the postseason dreams of AFC rivals like the Steelers, who won 10 or more games in four straight seasons from 2014 to 2017 but never reached the Super Bowl in that span.

So, you can see why Heyward (and Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu) would appreciate Brady getting out of his hair.

Unfortunately for the AFC, that doesn't look likely: The Patriots are the odds-on favorite to re-sign the 42-year-old QB in free agency, followed by three AFC teams: the Los Angeles Chargers, Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans.

But Heyward still appreciates Brady's greatness, even if the 20-year veteran doesn't grant his wish.

"I think he understands the game at a different level," Heyward said of Brady. He knows when to hit you with pace. He knows when to make you feel uncomfortable, and he's gonna exploit you."

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Roger Goodell gives latest update on Patriots videotaping investigation

Roger Goodell gives latest update on Patriots videotaping investigation

The NFL's investigation of the New England Patriots remains ongoing.

The league launched an investigation into the Patriots in December after they videotaped the Bengals' sideline during Cincinnati's Week 14 road game against the Browns in Cleveland.

League commissioner Roger Goodell was asked Wednesday at his Super Bowl LIV press conference in Miami for a status on the process and why it's taken so long. Goodell provided a brief update and pushed back on the notion that it's taken too long for the investigation to complete (H/T to ESPN's Mike Reiss for transcribing).

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Question: On the videotaping incident with the Bengals, what is the status of the investigation? When do you expect it to be complete? Why is it taking so long? You have the video, the Patriots admitted wrongdoing, shouldn't it be relatively open and shut?

Goodell: "The answer to that (last) question is 'No.' It shouldn't, because our responsibility is to make sure we're being extremely thorough. We have a responsibility to 31 other clubs, we have a responsibility to partners, we have a responsibility to fans to understand all of what happened, and make sure that something that we don't know happened didn't happen. 

"And so, from our standpoint, we want to make sure we're being thorough. Our team has been on it. We have been focused on this. I think it has not been that lengthy of time. We have obviously put the focus on it, but we're going to get it right. When we come to a conclusion, we'll certainly make sure people are aware of it."

The Patriots issued a statement after the incident occurred that said the video crew was sent to Cleveland to collect footage for a team website series titled "Do Your Job." New England admitted the video crew "inappropriately filmed the field" from its spot in the Cleveland press box.

Part of the footage captured by the video crew was shown exclusively on FOX Sports' NFL pregame show on Dec. 15 before the Patriots beat the Bengals 34-13 to clinch a playoff spot.

There is still no timetable for when the investigation will be completed. Goodell did not provide one Wednesday, so it looks like this matter won't be resolved until some time in the offseason.

Curran: Shanahan addresses the 28-3 collapse, adding Jimmy G