/Poor Jamie Collins Think again

Poor Jamie Collins Think again

Belichick was able to multitask so he made a side trip from Hattiesburg to meet Jamie Collins, Southern Miss linebacker. He spent two hours working one-on-one. Belichick was most certainly impressed by what he saw. Collins was the Patriots’ first pick in the NFL Draft, and they made him their second choice. The Patriots have been rewarded abundantly. Collins, a gifted athlete from McCall Creek, southwest Mississippi, has played in 41 of his 50 games. He has 285 career tackles and 10.5 sacks. That’s all. He was a part of the Pro Bowl and took part in every play during the Patriots’ Super Bowl XLIX win. He was the Patriots’ leader in tackles during the Super Bowl, as well as in the 2014-2015 seasons. He is generally considered one of the NFL’s 10 greatest linebackers. This is what makes Monday’s news so amazing. Collins was traded by the Patriots to the winless Cleveland Browns in exchange for a future third round draft pick. What did they do? They did. Although it sounds like an April Fool’s joke, it was actually a Halloween surprise. It was typical Belichick if you really think about it. After this season, Collins is an unrestricted, free agent. Belichick isn’t willing to pay Collins what he knows Collins will bring to the free agent market. Belichick thinks he will just go to another college to find someone to fill in for Jamie Collins. This is something Belichick has done many times before. Are the names Deion branch, Richard Seymour, and Randy Moss familiar? These three, along with many others, were Super Bowl winners at New England. They were then fired by the Patriots because they didn’t want them to be paid. Tom Brady earns $20.5 million per year for the Patriots. No one else comes close. Collins is now a Super Bowl contender and the Browns are lowly. At first glance, you think Collins is poor. But he is going to become rich, rich Jamie Collins. The original contract, which was negotiated by Bus Cook of Hattiesburg, required him to average $940,000 per season for his first four seasons. He could then become an unrestricted, free agent. He is about to add zeroes. The Cleveland Browns didn’t make this trade with Collins in mind. They wanted to keep him for the remainder of this season, and then let him go. They made the trade to make Collins their cornerstone defense player and have stated that. They have more than $50,000,000 in salary cap space. They have a large stockpile of early draft options. They have the potential to improve quickly, and it appears they intend to do so with defense. After this season, the Browns have three options: 1) Sign Collins to a long-term deal, 2) Tag him as their franchise player for a year for close to $15 million or 3) Let him go somewhere else, which is what they already stated they didn’t intend to do. He is still a free agent if the Browns “franchise” him after 2017. That would make him $15 million more. Collins’ incredible talents as a Pro Bowl linebacker could lead to a multi-year contract worth well over $12,000,000 per year. Poor Jamie Collins? Collins, who has just turned 27 years old and is entering the peak of his career, is currently in Cleveland, preparing to play with Dallas this week. Cook claimed that Collins called him Monday, expecting to be consoled. Cook stated that Jamie didn’t require any consoling. “He said, ‘I’m fine. This is my job. I love football, and I would not be there if they wouldn’t pay me. I am a mature man. I’m going do my job.” He will soon be paid much more for it. Mississippi Today’s columnist for sports is Rick Cleveland. Check out his columns as well as his Sports Daily blog. Reach Rick at rcleveland@mississippitoday.org.