The Cleveland Browns announced today that veteran Jamie Collins has been released. Is he a fit for Todd Bowles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Around 2:15pm EST today, the Cleveland Browns announced the decision to release veteran linebacker Jamie Collins in order to clear nearly $10 million in cap space. The future remains uncertain for linebackers Kwon Alexander and Kendell Beckwith in Tampa Bay, so if the price is right, would the athletic and the 2015 Pro Bowler be a fit for Todd Bowles’ defense and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
It is well known that Bowles loves to utilize athletic linebackers in his scheme, and Collins definitely fits that bill, playing as the strong side linebacker in New England and Cleveland in his career and has shown versatility against the run as well as the ability to jump in front of passing lanes.
Yet to hit the age of 30, Collins is entering into his seventh season in the NFL and will be looking for his third team. While he never lived up to his $12 million per year deal in Cleveland, his next stop should be at a discounted rate as he hopes to prove that he still has some gas in the tank. Expect Collins to demand anywhere between $5-7 million annually on a short-term one or two year deal.
Throughout his career, Collins has been a stat sheet stuffer, tallying seven interceptions, 23 passes defended, 13 forced fumbles, 44 tackles for loss, and 17.5 sacks from his linebacker position. Even after coming off of a couple down years since receiving a massive payday from the Browns, this type of career production cannot be ignored.
If the Buccaneers are unable to retain Alexander this offseason and Beckwith’s ankle turns out to be career-ending, then inquiring about the possibility of adding Collins to the roster should be a given, especially if his services can be obtained on a short-term, reasonably inexpensive deal.