As we inch closer to the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday, rumors are swirling around the football world.
On NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” Thursday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport talked about players that could be moved by the 4:00 p.m. deadline this Tuesday.
He mentioned Browns linebacker Jamie Collins as one of the “surprise” players, saying that while Cleveland isn’t shopping the 29-year-old, teams have been calling about potentially acquiring the former Pro Bowl linebacker.
Collins has underachieved with the Browns since being acquired from the New England Patriots at the 2016 trade deadline for a third-round pick.
In 21 games with the Browns since his arrival, Collins has racked up 145 tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles and two inteceptions. Last season ended early due to a season ending knee injury and this season while looking lazy on the field at times, he’s had 45 tackles (5 for a loss), two sacks and an interception in seven games.
Once graded as a top ten linebacker and the Browns sure paid him like one with a four-year, $50 million extension following the 2016 season, Collins now grades out as an average linebacker according to Pro Football Focus who has him ranked as the 52nd overall linebacker in the NFL.
It’s easy to see why he’s graded that low because of plays like this (Collins is #51 for you non-Browns fans)
I’ve seen Collins do this multiple times throughout the season and I’m wondering why the Browns continue to play him. Obviously when the team acquired him, reports were out about how he freelanced in New England on defense but it’s one thing to freelance, it’s another to completely lazy out on the field.
The Browns linebacker depth is shaky as it stands now with Joe Schobert sidelined with a hamstring injury and Christian Kirksey, Genard Avery, Tanner Vallejo, D’Juan Hines and newly acquired Ray-Ray Armstrong in the rest of the depth chart.
Collins has two years left on his contract which he can opt-out of following this season but it’s hard to imagine anyone paying him more than what he’s currently slated to make in 2019 and 2020 because of his declined performance and questionable work ethic.
I doubt the Browns move him unless a team makes them an offer they can’t refuse.
The OBR’s Jared Mueller said on the “1085 Gridiron” podcast during training camp that he heard the team and Collins were likely heading for a divorce at some point in the future (Comment was made around the 40:40 mark).
A couple of weeks ago, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell wrote an article about trade ideas and one mentioned Cleveland sending Collins back to New England for a conditional seventh-round pick.
I’m not sure Bill Belichick, who already got rid of Collins once wouldn’t be interested in bringing him back especially if he watches his game tape.
Teams that could use Collins that immediately come to mind include the Jets and even Cleveland’s most recent opponent Tampa Bay, who lost Kwon Alexander to a season ending knee injury on Sunday.