Jamie Collins is back with the New England Patriots. After Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network dropped the news that the Patriots and Collins were discussing a potential reunion, Jim McBride of The Boston Globe has confirmed that the linebacker will be returning to Foxboro.
The terms of the team have not been immediately disclosed, but McBride did add that Collins will be present for some on-field work on Thursday.
Collins, of course, was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Southern Miss. He spent three and a half years with New England and was a key weapon inside the linebacker unit. Collins was a Pro Bowler in 2015 and was able to help New England win Super Bowl XLIX against the Seahawks.
Over the course of his Patriots tenure, Collins was able to total 326 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and five interceptions. In the postseason, Collins added 50 tackles to go along with three sacks, eight quarterback hits and two interceptions.
Collins’ time with the Patriots came to a close in the midst of the 2016 season after he was traded to the Cleveland Browns. Up until this offseason, Collins remained in Cleveland and actually enjoyed arguably his best season of his career in 2018 as he finished with 104 tackles, four sacks, a forced fumble, interception and four passes defended.
The main reason Cleveland cut bait with Collins was simply to free up some cap space as he was due to account for $11.75 million next season and $13.75 in the final year of his four year, $50 million deal he singed with the Browns back in 2017.
Now, Collins will get to resume his NFL career where it began.
In fact, if the Patriots had it their way, Collins would have made it back to Foxboro even sooner. Following the news of the Patriots and Collins nearing an agreement Mike Giardi of the NFL Network noted that New England tried to trade for Collins in a deal with the Cleveland Browns around the NFL Trade Deadline last year. Missing out on Collins ultimately proved to be a bullet dodged for the Patriots as they were still able to win the Super Bowl last year without him, don’t have to take on what would have been a rather large cap hit, and they didn’t have to surrender any assets to get him other than money.
A Collins reunion will likely be well received throughout the Patriots locker room as some of his former teammates like Dont’a Hightower and Devin McCourty were buzzing about a potential comeback back in early March when he was released by the Browns.
With Collins now reportedly back in the fold, the Patriots do have to clear a spot for him on the 90-man roster so a corresponding roster move is on the horizon.