After some major struggles in coverage during Monday night’s loss to the Green Bay Packers, veteran linebacker Jamie Collins could be on his way out of Detroit.
Reports on Wednesday indicated that the Lions are engaged with other teams about trading Collins with rookie linebacker Derrick Barnes having stepped up and played well.
A former second-round pick of the New England Patriots, the 31-year-old Collins has earned two Super Bowl titles and a Pro Bowl appearance since entering the league back in 2013. While he has not been anywhere near the player he was in New England during stints with the Browns and Lions, there’s still a lot to like here.
Collins ranks among the top-five NFL linebackers in interceptions and passes defended since the start of the 2019 season. With a mere $3.8 million base salary in 2021, he’d also come cheap. Here’s a look at five ideal destinations for Collins in a potential trade.
Jamie Collins trade to the Pittsburgh Steelers
Despite ranking ninth in points allowed through two weeks, there’s some holes on Pittsburgh’s previously vaunted defense. That includes inside linebacker next to play-caller Devin Bush. Right now, Joe Schobert is getting the nod. He’s not even a replacement-level player. Collins would make a ton of sense for this team. And in reality, gifting Detroit a mid-to-late round pick wouldn’t be too much for general manager Kevin Colbert.
Los Angeles Rams beef up with Jamie Collins
Sure Los Angeles lacks draft picks due to the large amount of trades general manager Les Snead has made in recent years. Even then, moving off a late-round pick for another veteran would make sense for this Super Bowl contender. In fact, inside linebacker seems to be a pretty major need for new Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris. That’s especially true with Troy Reeder starting next to veteran Kenny Young. Collins almost makes too much sense for this team.
Jamie Collins trade to the Miami Dolphins
The Brian Flores-Jamie Collins link has to be talked about here. The third-year head coach spent three-plus seasons with Collins in New England before heading to South Beach. The two have a built-in relationship with Miami needing to do everything possible to upgrade its defense following a 35-0 blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 2. The likes of Andrew Van Ginkel and Samuel Eguavoen just aren’t cutting it at linebacker next to Jerome Baker.
Minnesota Vikings add Jamie Collins
Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr form one of the better linebacker duos in the NFL. The issue in Minneapolis is at the weak side with Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Chargers cast off starting. Sure he recorded a pick-six last week against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals. But that’s been an exception to the rule for the linebacker. Simply put, he’s been below average in coverage since entering the NFL back in 2016. Collins would be a major upgrade in this regard.
Cleveland Browns bring back Jamie Collins
Collins’ 30-game stint with the Browns from 2016-18 did not go too swimmingly. The team ended up having buyers remorse after handing him a four-year, $50 million extension following a trade from the New England Patriots. Even then, there’s no real reason to believe that Collins wouldn’t be an upgrade over veteran Malcolm Smith with the Browns. With rookie second-round pick Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah not quite ready to make an impact, adding Collins on the cheap to be a stopgap option makes sense for the Super Bowl contenders.