The Flat: Trade deadline comes & Jamie Collins goes

As I was leaving work around 3 p.m. Tuesday, I pulled out my phone from my pocket to check if I’d missed any calls, texts or notifications. It was the usual on the first two fronts, a few family and friends reaching out, but the third was the unusual one. “BREAKING: Patriots trade Pro Bowl LB Jamie Collins to Browns for third-round compensatory pick.” My initial reaction was understandably shocked, however, once it sunk in I wasn’t surprised.

I’ve been a Pats fan for 12 years, I’m 22 so for half my life, which is longer than my fandom toward the Mets; Islanders; and Galaxy combined. Why I mention this is because I know “The Patriots Way,” as The MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas outlines beautifully in her column “The Fine Fifteen,” which I link to below in my “Challenge Flag.” What that “way” is you’re not staying on this team if you play the game of football in any way we don’t see it fitting our style. And you’ll have to make sacrifices come free-agency if you plan on sticking around short or long-term because we can’t afford all of you, especially that our leader, Tom Brady, doesn’t receive the payment and committment he more than deserves. 

That’s philosophical side, and I’m sure it was definitely part of the Patriots’s decision, but we can’t forget that the NFL is a business too. Vrentas in the aforementioned column points out two other possible and plausible reasons for the move:


Collins is in the final year of his rookie deal and his success over the past two seasons has set him up for a big payday. Shortly after the trade was executed, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Collins was at one point asking for a contract in the ballpark of Von Miller’s six-year, $114.5 million pact with the Broncos. Belichick isn’t going to pay that kind of money to a linebacker when he isn’t paying Tom Brady that much.


Another leak of information trickled out shortly after the trade went through, from Mike Lombardi, a Belichick confidant who spent the last two seasons as an assistant to the coaching staff before moving on this summer. On Twitter, Lombardi pointed out a 28-yard run by the Bills early in the Patriots’ 41-25 win on Sunday. “Collins on the second play of the game does whatever he wants and Bills gain 28 yards,” Lombardi wrote. “Been happening all year. It was not going to continue.”

Here are the rest of Lombardi’s string of tweets about the Collins trade:

I want to address Schefter’s report that Collins asked for Von Miller money because Lombari’s thoughts are his opinion, worth looking at however. To any good journalist, it’s obvious to counter investigate what another one of our peers puts forth and move the story forward by now going to the source: Collins himself. So, it’s not saying much for these two, but kudos to Mary Kay Cabot, Browns beat writer for, and Jeff Howe, Patriots beat reporter for the Boston Herald for doing just that.

Collins is no where near the level of Miller, no one is. Don’t misunderstand me, Collins is an excellent player and the Patriots will miss him. Most notably his ability to pressure the QB from either end of the defensive line and to sit back on plays to cover runs, throws in the middle of the field or anywhere in the flats.

One person who’ll make sure his team is prepared and not distracted by this, instead better for it, is this guy:


“Jamie Collins and The Patriots’ Way”

Please take the time to read the rest of Vrentas’s column that gave me the idea to write about the Collins trade for my own work. She’s a brilliant journalist and always an enjoyable read. Plus…

Pretty, pretty cool. As I tweet back at her, it’s a pleasure reading her work.

Two columns ago, I embedded Peter King’s appearance with Rich Eisen on his show. Now I share with you the opposite. It’s an awesome listen for me as someone who looks up to both of these guys as pioneers in the business I’m trying to break into. Also, stay for the whole show because Jason Whitlock had some fascinating things to say.


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