Report: Ex-Patriots LB Jamie Collins, Lions Agree to 3-Year, $30M Contract

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IMarch 17, 2020

New England Patriots outside linebacker Jamie Collins celebrates after a tackle during an NFL football game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019 in Foxborough, Mass. (Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini)
Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Former New England Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins agreed to sign with Detroit Lions on Monday night, according to the MMQB's Albert Breer.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Collins' deal is for three years and worth $30 million with $18 million fully guaranteed.

The 30-year-old isn't a stranger to free agency. He accepted a modest one-year, $2 million contract in May to return to the Patriots, who drafted him in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft.

Collins played in New England from 2013 until the team traded him to the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 31, 2016, after starting 15 regular-season games en route to the Pats' Super Bowl victory in 2014 and leading the league in forced fumbles (five) in 2015.

The Southern Miss product struggled to find his footing in Cleveland. His 2017 campaign was limited to six games by an early-season concussion and a season-ending MCL injury suffered against the Detroit Lions in Week 10. He posted seven sacks, three forced fumbles and 135 tackles (94 solo) across 30 games (all starts) with the Browns. 

Cleveland released Collins in March 2019, which allowed the Patriots to bring him back. The signing paid off for New England, as the Pro Bowler posted a career-high three interceptions, seven sacks and 10 quarterback hits alongside 80 tackles (57 solo) across 16 games (15 starts).

"He's always been a smart football player. I think he's more aware and just more experienced than he was when he was here before," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said in October, per Patriots Wire's Henry McKenna. "He's done a really good job for us. We've asked him to fill multiple positions defensively. He's done that. ... His experience allows him to communicate with more confidence."

This move reunites Collins with Lions head coach Matt Patricia, who served as the Patriots defensive coordinator from 2012 to '17.

Mike Reiss @MikeReiss

With LB Jamie Collins agreeing to terms with the Lions (3 years, $30m), shortly after OLB Kyle Van Noy agreed to terms with the Dolphins (4 years, $51m), it is a reminder of how Patriots assistants landing head-coaching jobs can increase players' value beyond New England.

Detroit is now hoping Collins' 2019 improvements translate to 2020 and beyond.