As we enter Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season, teams around the league are taking stock of underperforming players they can move and potential trades available to them. NFL teams have to be consistently aware of performance in order to ensure they aren’t overspending or wasting cap space on players past their prime.
The Detroit Lions recently released linebacker Jamie Collins, making him a free agent for any team willing to pick him up. The Lions were unable to find any trade partners for the aging linebacker, a sign that teams were unwilling to give any sort of capital up in order to get Collins. However, now that Collins is on the open market, we should expect contenders to be willing to sign Collins to a low, non-guaranteed deal that could help bolster their defense.
Jamie Collins is worth considering as a free agent linebacker for KC Chiefs.
As for the Kansas City Chiefs, they look to be secure at the linebacker position for the foreseeable future, yet it couldn’t hurt to take a look at adding the 31-year-old to bring add some experience to their linebacking corps.
Just two seasons ago, Collins set his career-high in sacks with 7 in 2019. While Jamie Collins is no longer a young, up-and-coming defender, he still has some gas in the tank as he enters the twilight of his career. With over 100 combined tackles in 2020 for Detroit, Collins would have been first on the Chiefs by over 10 tackles last season, and with 100 tackles in two of the last three seasons, Collins still has value in the NFL.
Collins should be able to be signed on a lower one-year deal for a contending team that is a sure tackling linebacker away from having a better defense. Especially considering his playoff and Super Bowl experience in New England to start his career, Collins has valuable experience to pass on to younger players.
Situationally in Kansas City, should the Chiefs move Chris Jones back inside, Collins would be valuable in setting the edge and keeping defenses honest. Not that he would become a hand in the dirt defensive end, but he could help keep defenses honest if Jones moved back to defensive tackle. The other possibility is that Collins could help the Chiefs situationally when needed to stack the box and keep lesser linebackers, like Ben Niemann off the field in big-play moments.
While the Chiefs do have upside in young linebackers, Nick Bolton and Willie Gay Jr., it might be wise for Kansas City’s front office to stay away from Collins and focus on their young core of linebackers, especially with Gay Jr. returning in the coming weeks. However, no one would blame them for exploring a veteran option to help provide experience and leadership for a defense that has produced so-so performances through three weeks.