According to multiple reports, the Cleveland Browns and ex-Patriot linebacker Jamie Collins have agreed to a new four-year, $50 million contract with $26 million guaranteed. The deal makes Collins the fourth-highest paid linebacker in the NFL, behind Denver's Von Miller, Kansas City's Justin Houston, and Green Bay's Clay Matthews.
Reportedly, according to Cleveland.com, the Browns had to overpay to keep Collins in Cleveland, as his market value was closer to $10 million per year. With his new deal, the 6-foot-3, 250 hybrid linebacker surpasses Luke Kuechly's deal of $12.36 million per year, which was reportedly the benchmark.
In my opinion, this is a crappy deal for both sides.
Collins does not want to be in Cleveland and, if I am a Browns fan, I worry that he will come into camp overweight, like he did this year for the Patriots, or just simply play uninspired football. For Cleveland, they had to overpay on an overrated linebacker because again, no one wants to play in Cleveland. Instead of paying two or three solid players to good deals, the Browns paid one player that has a number of question marks attached to him.
There is a reason the Patriots traded Jamie Collins and it is a fact that the Patriots played better once he was no longer on the team. It could just be a coincidence, but the Patriots are playing for the Super Bowl, while the Browns went 1-15. Who would be happy with that type of transition?
This deal also paints a grim picture for Patriots fans when it comes to Dont'a Hightower. The Alabama linebacker has turned into one of the best players in the NFL and is the quintessential middle/mike linebacker that the Patriots have had on their teams since the turn of the millennium. Unfortunately, the Patriots will likely need to match or perhaps even go over the Jamie Collins deal in a new contract for Hightower. While the deal would be risky for obvious reasons, I believe the Patriots really like Hightower and a new extension is bound to happen.