Well, it didn’t take long for the speculation to end. Shortly after linebacker Jamie Collins was listed as a non-participant in Wednesday’s walkthrough practice for a non-injury reason, it was reported by both NFL Network and ESPN that the Detroit Lions are exploring trade options for the veteran linebackers.
“Jamie, look, Jamie had some mistakes. It wasn’t certainly his best performance,” Campbell said.
Campbell took things a step further when asked if there were any concerns about the 31-year-old’s effort.
“Jamie is a big linebacker, he’s a very athletic linebacker. The way he moves is a little bit different,” Campbell said. “Now does he move with the same effort or have the same effort as Alex? No, I don’t (think so). I think Alex just plays at a high level all the time.”
If the Lions were to trade Collins, they would have to take a pretty big salary cap hit. Though they would save $4 million in cap space this year, they would also be taking $3.3 million in dead cap this year and $6.3 million in dead cap next season, per Over the Cap.
The Lions are looking to get younger throughout their entire roster, and they’ve been intrigued by fourth-round rookie Derrick Barnes, who shined in the preseason and even in a handful of snaps in their Week 1 opener against the 49ers. Campbell noted this week that they’ve had conversations about putting Barnes in this week.
“Yeah, I think Barnes deserves a shot,” Campbell said.
Curiously, though, Campbell did mention that he believes Collins still had a skill set that is valuable to this team.
“There’s things that Jamie does well that we still have to continue to use. He’s still a mismatch on third down, particularly in the rush game, and we’ll see where this goes,” Campbell said.
Looks like the Lions may be prepared to move on without that extra threat of a pass rush.