Earlier this afternoon, the New England Patriots traded away their Pro Bowl linebacker, Jamie Collins, to the Cleveland Browns for a compensatory third-round draft pick.
Collins is widely considered one of the best young, versatile defenders in all of the NFL, and people were questioning why New England, namely head coach Bill Belichick, would make such a move.
Well, it’s pretty simple, it is known as “The Patriot Way” of business.
Collins is in the final season of his rookie contract and is considered a bargain for the performance on the field. He’s making less than $500K a year, with no incentives.
After this season, you can only imagine how much his value would have skyrocketed, with the franchise tag value at over $15 million a season for linebackers these days.
There is a precedent on how the Patriots do business in NFL circles. They traded Pro Bowl defensive tackle Richard Seymour to the Raiders in 2009. Seymour was still productive after the deal for two more seasons but sharply dropped off from there.
They traded defensive end/linebacker Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals, and so far, Jones has been productive, but one would wonder how much he will command this offseason and what type of cap hit it would be for a team to sign him.
Like Collins, both Seymour and Jones were playing on soon-to-expire deals before being traded. Also, it speaks volumes as to the values that the Patriots have two players that they are looking to re-sign in Malcolm Butler and Dont’a Hightower, so it seems they know where their salary allocation will be going.
Monday’s deal is a typical move by Belichick and the Patriots’ front office. To many, it would be considered icy cold and emotionless, as Belichick is on the sidelines. But it has always been the way that the Patriots work, and you cannot argue with the success that they have had is doing so.It’s “The Patriot Way,” and it works.