3. Jamie Collins, Linebacker
The move to acquire linebacker Jamie Collins from the New England Patriots made a lot of sense. In 2016, the Cleveland Browns were absent a big playmaker and they saw a chance to get a difference maker on defense. For a conditional 2017 third-round pick, they got the rights to Collins from the Patriots and he looked the part immediately.
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In just eight games with the Browns, Collins racked up 69 tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble. That led to him to being given a four-year deal worth $50 million. A torn MCL ended his season prematurely, but Collins didn’t look as dominant in the six games he did play.
Now entering 2018, he seemed to be in danger of losing snaps to Mychal Kendricks. After Kendricks was cut following an indictment on insider trading charges, that threat is gone, but it doesn’t mean Collins will be back to his old ways just yet.
Collins has been accused of “freelancing” in the past and that could be why New England moved on. He has all the tools to be a complete nightmare for offenses, but he needs to be able to play within the scheme.
He did record an interception during the Browns defensive dominance of the Philadelphia Eagles this preseason and that’s hopefully the player we will get this season.