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Patriots re-sign linebacker Jamie Collins

Where would the 2015 Second Team All Pro fit in with the Patriots?

Green Bay Packers v New England Patriots Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

[UPDATE] The New England Patriots have re-signed Jamie Collins, according to a report by the Boston Globe’s Jim McBride. He is expected to be present for team workouts on Thursday.

[ORIGINAL STORY] The New England Patriots are “in talks” to bring back former linebacker Jamie Collins, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. The Patriots traded Collins to the Cleveland Browns in the middle of the 2016 regular season as Collins was slated to enter free agency after the end of the season.

Collins was a Second-Team All Pro with the Patriots in 2015 and had a strong 2016 season despite changing teams. The Browns hired Gregg Williams to serve as defensive coordinator in 2017 and 2018 and Collins suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2017, leading to two of Collins’ worst seasons in the NFL.

Cleveland used Collins as a 4-3 strongside linebacker where was asked to penetrate up the field. The Patriots preferred to play Collins as a weakside linebacker or middle linebacker where he managed two gaps or had coverage responsibility. In the Patriots’ current defense, he could line up at his old weakside spot with Dont’a Hightower in the middle and Kyle Van Noy on the strong side.

Add in Elandon Roberts, who had a great 2018 season, and promising sophomore Ja’Whaun Bentley and the Patriots linebacker depth chart would be solid.

At his best, Collins’ is an athletic phenom that can cover tight ends and running backs with ease and can also provide pass-rushing pressure up the middle. Collins’ started all 16 games for the Browns last season and led the team in tackles, so he’s not without ability. If the Patriots can get Collins back into a spot where he thrived in 2014 and 2015, then the Patriots could have another steal on their hands.