Didn’t Jamie Collins just sign a fat deal with the Browns 15 minutes ago? Why would the Patriots want to trade for an overpaid guy they already got sick of once? Isn’t the fact he’s available confirmation they were right in the first place? Every time I see a Browns game, Collins either isn’t out there or looks like he’s browsing for paint.
Hello. Welcome to “My Thoughts When I Heard ‘Jamie Collins’ and ‘Patriots’ In the Same Sentence On Sunday.”
It was Jeff Howe of The Athletic that first mentioned the Patriots’ having internal discussions about re-signing their former second-round pick that they banished in 2016
Also here, the Patriots have discussed the possibility of a Jamie Collins trade https://t.co/eHsDT59gjO— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) October 28, 2018
Why would they do that?
They are lacking speed and depth at linebacker having lost rookie Ja’Whaun Bentley for the season and now confronting the fact Dont'a Hightower’s knee is acting up.
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And – if Collins were to play like the Patriots thought he could when they drafted him and the Browns thought he could when they traded for him and then signed him to a four-year, $50 million deal at the start of the 2017 season – he would help.
What about the money? What about the backstory?
Turns out the money isn’t that much of an albatross. Say what you want about how financially stupid the Browns are, but they are savvy enough to currently have almost $60M in cap space right now and to have put a trap door into Collins’ contract.
When they gave Collins his contract in February of 2017, they gave him a deal with $26.4M guaranteed but paid him a big chunk of that up front in roster-bonus dough instead of signing bonus. That meant they weren’t paying on credit against the cap in future years so there’s minimal dead money hitting the cap now that he’s a confirmed bust.
Collins’ cap hit this year is $14.5M but it’s only $2.5M and $1.25M in dead money for the Browns in 2019 and 2020.
He would be a pricey add for the Patriots for the remainder of the year – and New England has very little room against the cap, but the Patriots wouldn’t be tethered to Collins past the end of this season either.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell talked about a possible Collins trade in early October and broached the possibility of the Browns making Collins more affordable by swallowing some of his salary before dealing him.
With the Browns cleaning house this week, Collins having been an acquisition by the old personnel regime – and an ineffective one at that – now is the time to get him out of there. The Browns have the cap space to fix the mistake now.
Do the Patriots have it in them to take on a player who disappointed them once, hasn’t played well since he’s been gone and will be heading toward free agency at the end of the year knowing he’s a diminished commodity?
That’s the question.
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