New England Patriots rumors: A Jamie Collins reunion would be huge

Detroit Lions outside linebacker Jamie Collins (8) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Lions outside linebacker Jamie Collins (8) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The New England Patriots aren’t exactly desperate for help on defense, but too much of a good thing is never enough.

As the Patriots prepare for their Week 3 matchup with the New Orleans Saints, a very familiar face has been put on the trade block.

The Detroit Lions are interested in moving on from linebacker Jamie Collins. Collins has had two stints in New England, and both times he was a pivotal part of the defense. Lions head coach Dan Campbell outright confirmed Detroit’s willingness to move on from Collins before Thursday’s practice.

"“He gave what he had, and we felt like it was time to move on.” Campbell said. After a pause, Campbell concluded the thought with a telling quip, “We’re in a different place.”"

Why Collins has run his course in Detroit is unclear. Perhaps it’s simply a difference in defensive scheme with Matt Patricia no longer being the head coach in Detroit. The team may also just want to get younger at linebacker. It could also be an off-field issue, but if that were the case then teams would likely not show any desire to acquire Collins.

Why the New England Patriots could use Jamie Collins

Collins is a very athletic linebacker who is capable of both playing in coverage and going wherever the ball happens to be, whether that’s in the quarterbacks hands or the running back.

During his two tenures that spanned five seasons in New England, Collins had eight interceptions, 29 tackles for loss, 17.5 sacks, and 13 forced fumbles. Under Bill Belichick’s defense he is a fantastic playmaker who has a nose for the ball.

For some reason, other coaching staffs have failed to utilize his strengths. He was underwhelming after the Patriots traded him to the Cleveland Browns, then came back in 2019 and had a big year with seven sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception.

Last year in Detroit, Collins’ pass rushing productivity dropped significantly. Perhaps the team just didn’t send him after the quarterback as much as they should have.

Either way, Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia laid the blueprint for how to take advantage of Collins as a player after they drafted him in 2013. Despite the fact that the defense is a strength, they could still use an athletic off-ball linebacker who can roam around in the middle of the field and occasionally blast through the gaps to take the quarterback off guard.

Should the New England Patriots once again reunite with Jamie Collins?

This one is a no-brainer, especially given the fact that Detroit is basically saying that they want to give Collins away. It wouldn’t cost much for New England to bring him back, maybe just a late round pick or two.

Another interesting idea would be to trade N’Keal Harry in exchange for Collins. The Lions don’t have much at wide receiver and a change of scenery could do Harry some good since he is behind Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers on the depth chart.

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For a player that the New England Patriots have a ton of familiarity with, and one that they enjoyed a lot of success with, this is an easy opportunity to improve the team.