Patriots Rumors: Former Browns LB Jamie Collins Discussing Contract with NE

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2019

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 25: Jamie Collins Sr. #51 of the Cleveland Browns in action during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cleveland won 35-20. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Linebacker Jamie Collins is reportedly in talks to return to the New England Patriots, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. 

The team is "likely" to sign him as a free agent after he was released by the Cleveland Browns in March.

Collins spent the first 3.5 seasons of his NFL career in New England until he was traded during the 2016 season.

At the time, the Patriots were seemingly avoiding handing over a big contract to the defensive playmaker. He eventually earned a four-year, $50 million contract with the Cleveland Browns but was released after two seasons.

He was injured for most of 2017 but bounced back in 2018 with a team-high 104 tackles including 13 for a loss.

This strong play could provide hope to the Patriots that he can once again be the type of impact player who anchored New England's defense for a few years earlier in his career. After being taken in the second round of the 2013 draft, Collins led the team with 138 tackles in 2014 before earning his only Pro Bowl selection in 2015.

That season, he filled up the stat sheet with 89 tackles, 5.5 sacks and an NFL-best five forced fumbles in only 12 games.

The Patriots have survived without him, winning two of the last three Super Bowls, but adding a versatile player like Collins could help improve a defense that ranked 21st in the league in yards allowed last year.

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