Jamie Collins was a dynamic emerging talent at the linebacker position with the New England Patriots when they traded him to the Cleveland Browns just before the start of the 2016 season. The Browns signed him to a long-term contract in the offseason the following year to keep him around.
Now two years into that deal, apparently, his time could be up in Cleveland, for a multitude of reasons. Not the least of which is the $10.5 million in base salary that he will be due this year if he is on the roster at the start of the season.
Collins missed most of the 2017 season after tearing an MCL, but he returned to start every game in 2018. He recorded 104 tackles to go along with four sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble, in addition to four passes defensed.
However, there were also accusations of his taking some plays off. And the Browns are moving to a 4-3 defense on a more full-time basis under new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, in which scheme he would be expected to play outside linebacker.
General Manager John Dorsey is said to have had a meeting with Bus Cook, Collins’ agent, during the Combine yesterday to discuss his long-term future with the organization, which apparently can go any way at the moment. If he is not open to a restructure or even a pay cut, I suppose the door is open for him to be released.
One thing the Browns do have is linebackers. Christian Kirksey, Joe Schobert, and now Genard Avery as the latest, all have meaningful starting experience and likely would be their starting three should they choose to move on from Collins.
“I want to be able to hear everybody’s thoughts with his impact on this defense right here – and that’s from the linebackers coach, defensive coordinator, the head coach”, Dorsey said. “I want to hear the personnel’s input in this thing but I just want to sit down and try and talk to as many of our own players’ agents this week at the combine. It just so happens Bus is going to be here and I’m going to talk to Bus tomorrow”.
It’s unknown how soon we will learn any of the details of that conversation, but we may only find out as a result of what actions the Brown take regarding Collins and his contract status heading into the 2019 season.