The Cleveland Browns have signed linebacker Jamie Collins to a lucrative four-year contract to keep him from hitting free agency in March.
The team announced the move on Monday, with head coach Hue Jackson providing a glowing report about how he feels regarding the young man.,
“It’s no secret how I feel about Jamie Collins,” said Jackson. “He’s an outstanding football player and a guy we think can be part of the foundation of a tremendous defense. I was excited when we were able to trade for him last season, and now, I’m even more excited knowing that he is going to part of our future. We all know we have a lot of work to do to get our team where we feel it needs to be. Jamie wants to be a part of that. He wants to help build this team for success. He was outstanding in our locker room last year because he’s seen what success in the NFL looks like and our players respect the way he carries himself. We are all looking forward to him being a part of the success we plan to earn through our hard work and preparation.”
Collins was trade to the Browns for a third-round compensatory pick during the 2016 season. He made an immediate positive impact on Cleveland’s defense and tallied 48 tackles and two sacks in his eight games with the organization.
According to NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport, the contract is worth up to $50 million, with $26 million guaranteed.
The Browns are a few years away from featuring a legitimately competitive team, but locking up a young star like Collins is a big step in the right direction. An athletic player who can play on the line or off it, can rush the passer or cover, he’s a player who should make a big mark in the coming years to help Cleveland move out of the AFC’s basement and into the spotlight, provided the team can find its franchise passer.