Collins was released by the Browns on Wednesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Collins was on the trade block but Cleveland couldn't find any takers. His release provides the Browns with roughly $9 million in cap relief this offseason while the team prepares for the commencement of free agency March 13. The 29-year-old logged 104 tackles and four sacks in 16 games for the Browns last season and should have little trouble garnering free agent interest from teams looking for outside linebacker help.
GM John Dorsey said at the NFL Combine that Collins had "some inconsistencies" last season and made clear that the 29-year-old likely will need to consider a pay cut from his $10.5 million base salary in 2019 in order to remain in Cleveland. Collins led the Browns with 104 tackles last season and realistically could fetch a solid trade market if his contract were reworked.
Collins finished the 2018 season with a team-high 104 tackles (73 solo), four sacks, one forced fumble and one interception.
Collins signed a four-year, $50 million contract with the Browns in January 2017 and followed it up with his second 100-plus tackle season of his career. Health was a big factor into Collins' success, appearing in all 16 games for the first time since his rookie year in 2013. If Collins' health continues, he, along with Christian Kirksey (hamstring) and Joe Schobert, figure to make up one of the league's best linebacking corps in 2019.
Collins notched six solo tackles and a sack in Sunday's 17-16 win over the Broncos.
Collins' third sack of the year gives him his highest total in four seasons. His 92 tackles are also his highest mark since that same 2015 season in New England. The 28-year-old will try to break triple digits for just the second time in his career at home Week 16 against Cincinnati.
Collins recorded nine tackles (eight solo) and one fumble recovery in Sunday's win over Atlanta.
Collins was limited in a couple practices this week due to an ankle injury but he didn't seem at all hampered during Sunday's game. His nine-tackle performance was one of his better games on the season as the Browns tallied their third win of the year. Looking ahead, Collins and the Browns have a Week 11 bye before a Week 12 matchup with the Bengals.
|2013||New England Patriots||16||43||24.0||19||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||4|
|2014||New England Patriots||15||116||74.0||42||4||2||0||0.0||0||0||3|
|2015||New England Patriots||12||89||51.0||38||5.5||1||51||51.0||51||0||6|
|2016||New England Patriots||7||43||31.0||12||1||2||31||15.5||18||0||3|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2013||New England Patriots||16||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0|
|2014||New England Patriots||15||1||0||4||0||2||3||2||0|
|2015||New England Patriots||12||0||0||5||0||1||14||1||1|
|2016||New England Patriots||7||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|