The New England Patriots officially signed Jamie Collins on Thursday, reuniting the 29-year-old linebacker with the team that drafted him in the second round in 2013.
Collins, whom the Patriots traded to Cleveland at the 2016 trade deadline, spent the past two-and-a-half seasons with the Browns before being cut in March. Last season, in the second year of a four-year, $50 million contact, he played in all 16 games, tallying 104 tackles, four sacks, 13 tackles for loss, one interception and four pass breakups.
Collins rejoins an experienced Patriots linebacking corps that currently features Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts, Ja’Whaun Bentley, John Simon, Christian Sam, Calvin Munson, Shilique Calhoun and undrafted rookie Terez Hall.
To make room for Collins on the 90-man roster, the Patriots released defensive tackle Frank Herron. Herron joined New England as an undrafted free agent out of LSU last spring and spent most of the 2018 season on the Patriots’ practice squad. He has yet to make his regular-season NFL debut.
Collins is the fourth veteran to join the Patriots during the second phase of NFL free agency following tight end Ben Watson, wide receiver Dontrelle Inman and offensive tackle Jared Veldheer.