The Cleveland Browns released linebacker Jamie Collins on Wednesday, a move that many were expecting before the new league year.
The move saves the Browns $9.25 million in cap space and gives them $81.3 million, the third most in the league behind Indianapolis and the New York Jets.
Cleveland talked with Collins’ agent Bus Cook on Saturday during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis according to reports and Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted that the Browns were trying to trade Collins, who was due nearly $12 million for the 2019 season.
Collins appeared in 30 games over two and a half seasons with the team after being acquired for a third-round pick from New England back in 2016. He signed a four-year, $50 million dollar contract with the team in early 2017 with the team hoping he’d be one of the core defensive players.
However Collins never showed much consistency during his tenure with the Browns.
Despite a strong 2018 with 104 tackles (13 for a loss), 4 sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery, Collins was graded as the 58th overall linebacker in football according to Pro Football Focus.
The Browns should be in the linebacker market for sure whether it’s in the draft or in free agency as Joe Schobert, Christian Kirksey and Genard Avery are the only linebackers currently on the roster that will likely make the 2019 roster.
Keep an eye on Kansas City as they’re shopping two of their linebackers who general manager John Dorsey is familar with: Dee Ford and Justin Houston.
Also look at the top free agents available: Jordan Hicks, Anthony Barr and CJ Mosley who all will command a lot in terms of salary.
Zeitler on the move?
The Cleveland Browns already have a ton of cap space but could be looking to add more according to the NFL Network.
Now I don’t think the Browns would cut Zeitler outright because it doesn’t make sense financially or as a football move. If they were to move Zeitler, it would be in a trade.
Zeitler has a $12.4 million cap hit for the 2019 season. If Cleveland were to cut him, they’d only gain $1.7 million in cap space but also take a $10.7 million dead cap hit. If they were to trade him, they’d gain $5.2 million in cap space but still take a $7.2 million dead cap hit.
I also don’t think they’d trade him just for the sake of trading him. Zeitler is one of the best offensive lineman in football and it showed last year with as well as himself and the offensive line played.
Obviously the front office would like to get Corbett out on the field to show people why they took him at the top of the second round last year but they aren’t going to dump Zeitler for nothing. They’d do it if the return was the absolute maximum for a player of his caliber because that’s what good football teams do and I believe Cleveland is heading in the direction of a good football team.