What the hell is this?
Adam Schefter reports that the Patriots are trading linebacker Jamie Collins to the Browns for a draft pick:
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network confirms:
As a first reaction, this makes no sense for the Patriots. The one clue is that Collins is in the final season of his rookie contract, so it appears that the team didn’t want to give him an extension, or couldn’t reach an agreement with him. It’s also a confusing transaction for the 0-8 Browns, unless they’re giving Collins a new contract immediately.
New England doesn’t even have a deep roster of linebackers. The Patriots placed Jonathan Freeny on injured reserve on Oct. 15 and traded for Lions linebacker Kyle Van Noy on Oct. 26. Outside of that, they have Dont’a Hightower, Barkevious Mingo, Elandon Roberts, and Shea McClellin seeing the majority of time. Collins is much better and more versatile than all of those players, however. He’s an athletic freak, even by the NFL’s standards, who plays at linebacker and excels in coverage. Unless the Patriots are making another trade to fill the hole left by Collins’s departure, this is a baffling move.