What made Jamie Collins return to the Patriots? 'Everything'

What made Jamie Collins return to the Patriots? 'Everything'

After two and a half years away from the New England Patriots, Jamie Collins has made his return. Collins was originally a second-round pick by the Patriots out of Southern Miss in the 2013 NFL Draft, but he was dealt to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a third-round draft before his rookie contract was up.

Collins was solid during his Browns tenure, but he didn't quite find the same success he did in New England. After two and a half seasons in Cleveland, Collins was cut and lingered on the open market for a bit before the Patriots offered him a deal. And in a recent interview, Collins spoke about what made him want to return to New England.

"Everything," Collins said to NFL Network's Kay Adams and Mike Giardi. "On the field, off the field, especially the winning part. Once you're a winner, man, it's hard to fall away from that. And you don't settle for anything less."

Collins, of course, had a taste of winning in his three-plus years with the Patriots, as the team beat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIV during Collins' second season. But since his trade to the Browns, winning has been more elusive, so getting the opportunity to return to his former team and play on a reigning Super Bowl champion was too good to pass up.

Additionally, Collins has the unique opportunity to work with a former teammate as his position coach. Jerod Mayo was hired this offseason to coach the team's inside linebackers and Collins is excited to be able to work with him moving forward.

"That's awesome," Collins said to Adams and Giardi. "Knowing that I played with this guy and now, he's my coach. You learn different stuff. You know, he's a player first. He sees things differently. He sees things like I see things and I see things like him. You got the best of both worlds. He sees stuff that coaches can't see. He can break it down even better than a coach because he's been out on the field with me. It's just great to have him out there and for me to be a part of this."

Collins will have to battle a solid linebacker group including Kyle Van Noy, Ja'Whaun Bentley, Elandon Roberts, and Dont'a Hightower for playing time. But, there's a chance he could reemerge as a role player on this Patriots team, especially if he can earn Mayo's trust. Either way, it seems that he has the right motivations and attitude heading into his seventh NFL season.

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Next Pats Podcast: Will Patriots go mobile at QB if Tom Brady leaves?

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Next Pats Podcast: Will Patriots go mobile at QB if Tom Brady leaves?

There's one big question that New England Patriots are facing this offseason. Who is going to be their starting quarterback in 2020?

For the past 20 seasons, the team hasn't really had questions at the position. It has always been Tom Brady's job. But with the 42-year-old set to hit free agency, the Patriots can't necessarily count on him returning unless they want to pay him what he's worth.

So, now the question for the Patriots becomes, what will life look like if Brady departs?

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On the latest episode of The Next Pats Podcast, which returns for its first episode of the 2020 offseason, Phil Perry is here to explore that question. And really what it all boils down to is what the Patriots are looking for in a potential successor.

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As Perry notes, it's likely to be one of two types of quarterback: The traditional pocket passer or a more mobile athlete in the mold of some of the recent success stories at the position.

Do the Patriots look for the next Brady? Uber-accurate, somebody who's going to sit in the pocket and absolutely dissect every little aspect of the defense that he is looking at. Or, do they go a different route? Do they go with an athlete? Do they get more mobile? Because talking to people this offseason, I'm getting a whiff -- I'm getting a scent that people believe the pocket passer might be dead.

Perry is joined by guests including Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo, Greg Cosell of ESPN and NFL Films, and NFL Network's Kurt Warner to answer questions about Brady's future and what his game has looked like in recent seasons.

For more thoughts about the Patriots offseason, check out the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast, available as part of the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network.

David Ortiz says leaving Patriots wouldn't impact Tom Brady's legacy

David Ortiz says leaving Patriots wouldn't impact Tom Brady's legacy

Over the past 20 years, Tom Brady has established himself as one of the greatest and most beloved athletes in Boston sports history.

But if Brady leaves New England for a new team in free agency this offseason, would that leave a stain on his Patriots legacy? Fellow Boston sports legend David Ortiz doesn't believe so.

The former Red Sox slugger recently spoke with Rob Bradford of about Brady's impending free agency. According to Ortiz, leaving Foxboro behind ahead of his age-43 season won't take away from anything Brady has accomplished with the Pats in the past two decades.

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"His legacy has already been built. It’s always there," Ortiz told Bradford. "That’s not the problem. His problem is not going to be legacy. He could go and play somewhere else for the next 10 years when he returns to New England his legacy is going to be there.

"It’s a good thing to do but you also have to look at your options. I hope he stays with the Patriots, but it’s not up to what I say. It’s his decision. Sometimes an offer at home might be a couple of million less than what you could get on the road. It’s up to you whether you think it’s worth it."

Brady will officially become an unrestricted free agent if he and Patriots don't agree to a contract extension by March 18. Several teams are expected to be in the mix to sign the six-time Super Bowl champion, with the Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders as two of the most likely destinations.

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