Jamie Collins, who helped the Patriots to a Super Bowl title in 2014 and was second-team All-Pro in 2015, was traded to the Cleveland Browns on Monday for a third-round pick.
Collins, 27, is on of the most talented linebackers in the league, but he and Bill Belichick were clearly not on the same page this season.
“This is relatively new,” Boston Globe NFL writer Ben Volin said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “It’s not like he didn’t play against Buffalo. He played 48 out of 78, but that’s less. Last year, he was 100 percent every game and this year he’s been 90+ percent every week. So this was a new phenomenon yesterday, and I think it just shows you just how much he’s fallen out of favor with the coaching staff. I think what you have is a player who’s wanted the team to step up with contract negotiation. The sides have been very far apart. I think it’s affected their relationship, probably poisoned the relationship. It affected him on the field. You heard Michael Lombardi, the former executive, saying Collins freelanced all the time and did his own thing. That’s not how it flies in New England. So it was a surprising move today, but clearly they decided they were going to cut bait with the player and decided to get something for Jamie Collins instead of nothing. They were able to get a third-round pick this year instead of next year, so at least it’s something.”
Collins had 43 tackles, 1.0 sack, one forced fumble, two interceptions and three passes defended in seven games for New England this season.
Although the Patriots didn’t want to pay Collins, Volin believes someone will.
“Jamie Collins is a physical freak,” he said. “This guy, I still think, is going to cash in on free agency, whether it’s with the Browns or someone else. Rushing the passer, covering running backs, he’s fast, 250 pounds – he’s a hybrid, modern-day NFL linebacker. But just not the most consistent player and his head kind of gets in the way and (he) just didn’t fit in with what the Patriots are trying to do here. It’s definitely Bill Belichick’s way or the highway. Like many, many players before him, they sent Jamie Collins packing.”