Cleveland initially acquired Collins back in October 2016, sending a conditional third-round pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for his services. The next offseason, Cleveland signed Collins to a four-year, $50 million that was, at the time, the largest in the league for an 4-3 linebacker. The contract contained $26.4 million in guaranteed money, but almost all of that was paid out during the first two years so the Browns will carry only $2.5 million in dead money on their books in 2019 rather than Collins' $11.75 million cap hit.
The Browns were already one of the teams most flush with cap space, and this roster move gives them even more to work with. They have a few year span here where they can really make some splashes with Baker Mayfield, Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward, and Nick Chubb all on rookie deals, and all the cap room they have available could prove incredibly valuable. GM John Dorsey has plenty of ammo to make whatever kind of moves he wants to finally bring the Browns back to the playoffs. They'll need to replace Collins in the lineup, but the additional money gives them some added flexibility to do other things as well.