UPDATE (3 p.m. ET): It’s official: Jamie Collins is a member of the Cleveland Browns after the New England Patriots traded the linebacker for a conditional draft pick.
UPDATE (5:10 p.m.): Per the NFL’s transaction wire, the Patriots will receive a conditional 2018 fourth-round pick in return for Collins. But if Cleveland is awarded a compensatory third-round pick in 2017, New England would get that pick instead.
ORIGINAL STORY: The New England Patriots reportedly shocked the world Monday by trading one of their superstar defenders.
The Patriots traded linebacker Jamie Collins to the Cleveland Browns for a compensatory third-round pick, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.
Collins is set to hit free agency after the season, and he’s expected to garner a massive deal on the open market. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower also will hit free agency after the season, and it could have been difficult for the Patriots to keep both players.
Collins was selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He has 291 tackles, 10.5 sacks, five interceptions and 10 forced fumbles in 50 games. He was named to the 2015 Pro Bowl and was a second-team All-Pro last season.
If Collins had walked in free agency, the Patriots likely would have received a third-round compensatory selection for him regardless.
Collins played just 48 of a total 70 snaps for the Patriots on Sunday in their 41-25 win over the Buffalo Bills.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images