Former New England Patriots outside linebacker Jamie Collins woke up this morning a member of the team with the best record in the National Football League. Now, he’s with the 0-8 Cleveland Browns.
Collins is in a contract year, and with a decision on his future looming, he made it pretty easy for the Patriots to decide to ship him off to Cleveland. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Collins was asking the Patriots for “Von Miller money,” and to be frank, there’s absolutely no way Bill Belichick was going to go for that based on Collins’ play.
Miller’s contract covers six years and is worth $114.5 million, but Miller is perhaps the most dominant edge rusher in the game today. Miller had 11 sacks last season, and midway through the 2016 season, he already has 8.5. Collins, on the other hand, has one sack this season. Last year was his most prolific season as a pass rusher, and he finished with 5.5 sacks.
The Patriots could have chosen to go the franchise tag route with Collins, but that would have come with a $14.129 million price tag for one season. That’s not really the Patriot way.
Michael Lombardi, current FOX NFL analyst and a former assistant to the Patriots’ coaching staff, noted what is surely a contributing factor to this trade.
Collins on the second play of the game does whatever he wants and Bills gain 28 yards. Been happening all year. It was not going to continue— michael lombardi (@mlombardifoxtv) October 31, 2016
The Patriots get a third-round compensatory pick in exchange for Collins, and the Browns get a player who could contribute. Given the draft picks the Browns have stockpiled for 2017, it’s a justifiable cost for Cleveland:
#Browns updated 2017 draft picks: 1st, 1st (PHI), 2nd, 2nd (TEN), 4th, 5th, 5th (NE), 6th. Any comp 4th round pick goes to PHI— Eric Galko (@OptimumScouting) October 31, 2016
But what stands out is the fact that, had the Patriots decided to just keep Collins on the roster and allow him to depart as a free agent after the season, New England would have ended up receiving a compensatory pick for him, anyway.
This perfect storm of a lack of productivity, resistance to coaching, and a desire for “Von Miller money” just brought about the end of Collins’ time with the Patriots a little sooner.
Days later, in his first session with the media as a member of the Browns, Collins denied that he asked for that type of money.
#Browns Jamie Collins said he never asked for Von Miller money: "I'm not Von Miller. Let's be smart"— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) November 2, 2016
Whether he did or didn’t, everyone can agree on one thing: Only Von Miller can ask for Von Miller money.