It marks the start of a third tour with the Patriots for Collins, who turns 32 this October. ESPN’s Field Yates first reported Tuesday that the two sides were nearing a deal.
The Detroit Lions released Collins on Sept. 28 following unsuccessful attempts to trade the 2015 Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro. Collins stood in the second year of a three-year, $30 million contract that included $18 million guaranteed. He agreed to a restructure in the spring that converted $5 million of his $8.8 million base salary into a signing bonus while adding three voidable years.
Collins started 16 games while a member of the Lions, totaling 135 tackles, seven sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two interceptions. He played 100 defensive snaps for the organization this fall before being inactive for Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Super Bowl XLIX champion now makes his way back to the organization that selected him in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft out of Southern Mississippi, and that he later rejoined three years removed from a 2016 trade to the Cleveland Browns.
Collins has appeared in 66 games during his New England career and started 56, excluding postseason. His previous stays spanned 328 tackles, 17.5 sacks, 13 forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries, eight interceptions and a pair of touchdowns.