The Detroit Lions have released veteran linebacker Jamie Collins, the team announced Tuesday. This move comes after Detroit was looking to trade Collins and it would appear that the club couldn't find a proper suitor for the 31-year-old, who'll now get to pick his next destination in the NFL. Collins signed with the Lions back in 2020, agreeing to a three-year, $30 million contract at the time. The veteran did restructure his contract with the team this offseason but will still be making $8.8 million in total from Detroit this season (h/t Field Yates of ESPN). Thanks to that, he can prioritize finding a team that fits him stylistically.
Through two games, Collins -- who was inactive for Week 3 vs. Baltimore -- totaled 10 tackles for Detroit and a fumble recovery. Collins led the team in 2020 with 101 combined tackles. That said, he did struggle in what was his final game with the Lions during a "Monday Night Football" with the Packers. Collins struggled to apply pressure and was burned in coverage at times throughout the contest.
The reason why the Lions have decided to cut bait with Collins, per coach Dan Campbell, is to give more playing time to younger players like fourth-round pick Derrick Barnes, who had four tackles in Week 3.
Collins entered the league as a second-round draft choice of the New England Patriots back in 2013. After spending four years in Foxborough (where he earned a second-team All-Pro honor in 2015 and helped the franchise win Super Bowl XLIX), Collins was traded to the Cleveland Browns in the midst of the 2016 season. He then returned to the Patriots for his second stint with the team in 2019 before signing on with the Lions.
For his career, Collins has 686 tackles, 25.5 sacks 19 forced fumbles, and 11 interceptions over his 112 regular-season games played.
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