The Cleveland Browns became buyers at the trade deadline by trading a compensatory third-round pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for Jamie Collins.
After an 0-8 start to the season, the Cleveland Browns seemed content to once again build the team through the draft. Well, the talent acquisition began a bit early as the Browns made a blockbuster trade before Tuesday’s trade deadline.
Jamie Collins is an extremely talented linebacker who the Browns can build the defense around for years to come, if the team can re-sign him before he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.
That is the main question with Collins, as him being traded out of New England likely shows that Bill Belichick had no intentions of offering the young linebacker a giant contract.
The Browns do have the most cap space in the NFL, so signing Collins to a massive deal shouldn’t be an issue. It just comes down to if the team wants to invest so heavily in one player.
It would be hard to believe this trade would be made if the front office didn’t think it could sign Collins to a deal. The franchise tag could be used on him, but locking him up long-term seems to be the purpose of this trade.
It is truly a steal for the Browns, who have acquired a star on defense. The Patriots are a great enough team to dump talent like Collins, and even Chandler Jones, but the Browns can seize this opportunity to solidify a focal point on defense.
With Joe Haden struggling to live up to his star potential, and his contract, Collins can become the new face of the defense. He is also only 27 years old, meaning he can be around for the forseeable future. It goes in contrast to the Browns’ old ways of signing players at the back-end of their careers, such as Karlos Dansby and Donte Whitner.
This is a rather baffling move by the Patriots, who are in the midst of another title run, but a great one for the Browns. The discussion will now move toward how soon they can sign Collins to an extension, which is hopefully before the end of the season.
The Browns may not be winning in 2016, but this move shows the front office is committed toward future success. Rebuilds are hard for fans to watch, but the hope that things will get better just increased with this blockbuster trade.