Keeping Jamie Collins is the key to a Cleveland Browns playoff run
Veteran Jamie Collins recently finished his first full season with the Cleveland Browns. In that season, he showed why he deserves to be on the Browns in 2019 despite his expensive contract.
Jamie Collins has become somewhat of a polarizing player within the Cleveland Browns fan base. Some fans love him, some fans want him to be cut this off-season. In 2019 he will have a cap hit of $11.75 million, according to Spotrac.com, so it’s reasonable why his high price could cause some fans to want to see him let go. However, releasing Collins would be a huge mistake.
Collins played his first 16 game season in Cleveland this season, posting up some impressive numbers. Collins led the team in total tackles with 104 tackles. This was 28th in the NFL among linebackers.
Collins also posted four sacks this season, which is tied for 23rd in the NFL among linebackers, and fourth on the Browns roster. He also led the Browns in tackles for loss, with 13, which was tied for 16th in the NFL this season.
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Turning 30-years-old in the middle of next season, Collins will be running out of his prime soon. However, older, playoff experienced players like Collins can help the young Browns core get used to playing in the playoffs. Collins also lights it up in the playoffs.
In seven career playoff games with the Patriots, Collins made 50 tackles, eight quarterback hits, five tackles for loss, three sacks, and two interceptions. For prime time football, those are some really good numbers.
This season, Collins seemed to show up for the divisional games also. In the two games against the Ravens, he had a sack in each along with 21 tackles. Against the Steelers, he had 17 tackles, one tackle for loss, one pass defended, and one forced fumble. His games against the Bengals were his worst in the division, having seven tackles, a quarterback hit, and a pass defended in those two games.
When the opponent seems like a good team, Collins seems to bring his A game. With the Browns also marching into Foxborough next season, Collins could really be pivotal in upsetting the Patriots.
Getting an upset over the Patriots could push the Browns into the playoffs. They’re most likely going to be a playoff team again next season, and wins in Foxborough by opponents are pretty rare. A focused Collins could be the key to getting that rare win for the Browns.
A Collins who is motivated seems to be more than worth his contract. With the most cap space in the NFL, the Browns don’t need to let him go to save money. Instead, they need to find a coach who will be great at motivating the team every week, not just for big games.
Defensive coordinator and 2018 interim head coach Gregg Williams seemed to do a good job of bringing out the best in his defensive players, so hopefully next season he will be around to do just that. If not, whoever the Browns bring in as head coach and defensive coordinator next season better be great motivators.