Before Day 1 of the tampering period was over, the Detroit Lions finalized a deal that would help boost their defense. As first reported by MMQB’s Albert Breer, the Lions are signing former Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins Sr.
Per Ian Rapoport, the deal is for three years and worth $30 million.
Collins will be a familiar face for Lions head coach Matt Patricia, as the two worked together for three-and-a-half season in New England before the Patriots shipped him to Cleveland. There were rumors that Collins’ attitude got himself shipped out of New England, but his return to the Patriots last year suggests he’s doing just fine these days. And his play certainly rebounded in a big way:
Jamie Collins’ 2019 grade of 75.7 was his highest since 2015 when he earned an 86.0.— PFF (@PFF) March 17, 2020
Collins adds a much-needed veteran presence to Detroit’s young linebacking corps. His coverage skills will come as a welcome addition to a group of linebackers who have struggled mightily in that category. He also brings inside/outside versatility and a decent pass rush (8.0 sacks in 2019).
It will be interesting to see how this affects the Lions’ current stable of linebackers. Former first-round pick Jarrad Davis is on the final year of his contract, while Detroit just handed Christian Jones a two-year extension. Given his experience as a jack linebacker, he could also threaten some of Devon Kennard’s playing time, as he is also entering the final year of his contract.
Regardless of whether he fits, Collins will be a welcomed addition to the Lions defense that has struggled at the second level over the past two years.