The Cleveland Browns have made a long-term commitment to linebacker Jamie Collins.
"It's no secret how I feel about Jamie Collins," head coach Hue Jackson said. "He's an outstanding football player and a guy we think can be part of the foundation of a tremendous defense. I was excited when we were able to trade for him last season, and now, I'm even more excited knowing that he is going to be part of our future."
"I want to thank the Cleveland Browns organization for giving me this opportunity," Collins said. "From the day I walked in the door, I felt welcomed by my new teammates and everyone in this organization. The past is the past as far as last season's record, but today is a new day. I'm only looking forward. I know we have a lot of work to do, and with Coach Hue leading us and the front office bringing in talent, I feel like we are going to get there, and I feel good about continuing my career here."
In a stunning in-season trade, the Browns acquired Collins from the New England Patriots in October.
He was one of the Patriots' best defensive players before being dealt.
Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus highlighted his year-to-year improvement at the time of the trade: "Collins earned the 11th-best overall grade among NFL linebackers in 2014, with an 87.9 mark, and the seventh-best grade a year ago, at 88.6. While LB Dont'a Hightower might be the player the Patriots want to hitch their wagon to defensively, Collins is the more physically gifted of the duo."
While the Patriots didn't miss Collins after the trade, ultimately reaching the Super Bowl, the Browns got an impact player they desperately needed.
Because Collins was in the final year of his contract, the Browns knew they would have to pony up a big offer to keep him in the fold.
Collins didn't show any drop in production after going from the NFL's best team to its worst in the middle of the year.
"Collins possesses the athletic ability to excel in any role he's put in, whether that's coverage or pass-rushing," Bryson Vesnaver of Pro Football Focus wrote in November. "His coverage grade of 84.2 ranks near the top among all linebackers. However, Collins can also rush the passer when asked, as evidenced by the five QB pressures he has in Cleveland since being moved to the edge."
The Browns own two of the top 12 picks in April's draft, so keeping Collins to pair with two young stars could make their turnaround happen faster than expected.
There are still a lot of positions for the Browns to upgrade if they want to be a playoff threat, but Collins gives them a building block on defense. His value goes beyond what they will pay him under the terms of his new deal.