Drafted in 2013, traded in 2016 and re-signed in 2019, Jamie Collins now finds himself adding a third chapter to his New England Patriots story.
“It’s an honor, man. I’m always blessed and grateful of opportunities like this,” Collins told reporters during his Friday video conference. “This place, they took a chance on me coming out. This is where I started. This place gave me a chance to live out dreams and be something that I always wanted to be. I’m always just super grateful for these doors over here, man. It’s exciting.”
The Southern Mississippi product will turn 32 later in October where the NFL run began at pick No. 52 overall.
“I understand the situation, as well,” said Collins. “I just got here. They had guys here and I’m just filling in. So, like I said, just come in here, do whatever they ask me to do, man.”
The Super Bowl XLIX Champion had signed a three-year, $30 million contract with Detroit that included $18 million guaranteed as free agency opened in 2020. A restructure followed. It saw $5 million of his $8.8 million base salary converted into a signing bonus and three voidable years tacked on.
It ended after 16 starts. Collins recorded 135 tackles, seven sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two interceptions as a Lion. He played 100 defensive snaps this fall.
Collins now reconvenes with familiar faces. Matt Patricia, his former Patriots defensive coordinator and Lions head coach who now serves a senior football advisor for New England, being among them.
“We definitely got a good relationship. We always stayed in touch,” Collins said of Patricia. Regardless of any situation, we always stayed in touch. It’s never just about football. He’s always checking on my family. I’m always checking on his. It’s always a good thing with him. We always talk about things outside of football. That’s good for me, too, because football is great but sometimes you have to talk about outside life, and we definitely do that a lot.”
The previous stays with the organization spanned 66 games and 56 starts. Over those regular seasons, Collins accumulated 328 tackles, 17.5 sacks, 13 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, eight interceptions and two touchdowns.
He would be named a Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro in 2015 before a stint with the Cleveland Browns.
“These guys are great over here, man. The standard over here is very high,” added Collins. “They got the wins, they got the Super Bowls, they got everything to back it up, so it’s only right to come in and try to catch up. I just feel like when you come in here with guys like Devin McCourty, [Dont’a] Hightower, [Matt] Judon, Bill [Belichick], [Matthew] Slater — so many guys here that it’s like, man, I got to catch up. You just feel behind. They’ve been doing this for a long time. Like I said, it’s different. I’ve been here but I still feel behind.”
The Patriots visit the Houston Texans for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff Sunday at NRG Stadium.