Does Jamie Collins Trade Hurt New England’s Super Bowl Odds?
The New England Patriots pulled off a shocking blockbuster trade on Monday morning, with news breaking that they had sent star linebacker Jamie Collins to the Cleveland Browns for a third round draft pick.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 31, 2016
The news comes as a surprise, especially since the Patriots just moved to 7-1 on the year and are starting to round out as the top contender for this year’s Super Bowl.
Collins was playing a key role in New England’s dominance, having started the first seven games and registering 43 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble and one sack during that span.
New England wasn’t sporting the league’s top defense, but there was little denying that Collins was a versatile asset for their defense – if not their best defender on the team.
Par For the Course
As massive as this trade could end up being, it’s not all that shocking of a move by a Patriots team that traded away stud pass rusher Chandler Jones ahead of this year.
Jones was entering a contract year and, as big of an asset as he was, was set to cost a ton of money for the Pats to keep, long-term.
Bill Belichick and co. clearly saw the writing on the wall with Jones, and traded him to the Arizona Cardinals. The same figures to have been the case with Jamie Collins and with negotiations likely not getting anywhere during the season, New England opted to get something for Collins now, rather than watch him walk in free agency for nothing.
Von Miller Money
New England’s thought process here gets even clearer with news trickling out that Jamie Collins was looking for a massive contract in 2017.
The 27-year old hybrid linebacker had clearly made a case for a big contract extension, but may have priced himself out of Foxborough by reportedly seeking “Von Miller-type money”:
Jamie Collins at one point was asking for “Von Miller money.” https://t.co/ygW6E8M7Gv
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 31, 2016
There is no doubt that the Pats would have probably preferred to keep Collins, but there is also arguably no way they could have handed their young star linebacker such a hefty salary – or anything close to it.
Miller is a former Super Bowl MVP and sack monster, while Collins has never registered more than 5.5 sacks in a single season.
Needless to say, the Patriots didn’t think it was worth it to hold onto Jamie Collins and try to argue him down to a respectable number. Instead, they cut their ties and got a third round pick for their trouble.
New England’s Super Bowl Odds
Before the Jamie Collins trade, New England still sat quite favorably at betting sites like Bovada, where the Patriots led the entire NFL with +225 odds to win the Super Bowl.
Those odds could see a mild dip thanks to this trade, but New England made up for the loss of Chandler Jones and still appears to be deep enough to promote someone else and really not miss a beat on defense.
The reality is the Patriots are trying to both win right now and also protect themselves for the future. For a team that has won 13 AFC East division titles and four Super Bowls in the Bill Belichick era, it’s probably fair to say that the current New England regime has a good idea as to how to run a team.
Fans can’t be happy to see beloved players like Jamie Collins traded away, but the Patriots still have Tom Brady and one of the best offenses in the entire league. With their defense already regressing from where they were as a unit during their Super Bowl run two years ago, it makes sense on paper to sacrifice some elite talent now in order to improve in the future.
This will be a controversial issue for Patriots and NFL fans alike, but New England will remain the favorite to win this year’s Super Bowl, regardless.
As for the Browns, this is a big trade for Hue Jackson and co., provided they can secure Jamie Collins to a long-term contract. If not, they just wasted a third round pick to rent a defensive player for the remainder of a currently winless season.
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