The Cleveland Browns are in the final stages of locking up their star linebacker for the long haul.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport is reporting that the Browns and Jamie Collins are finalizing a contract extension that will pay Collins $12.5 million on average per year, which is more than Luke Kuechly‘s average annual salary of $12.3 million. One of Collins’ goals was to allegedly get paid more annually than Keuchly.
Collins, who began the season with the New England Patriots, was traded to the Browns on October 31st after the Patriots and Collins were unable to reach common ground on a contract extension with Collins set to his unrestricted free agency this off-season.
Keeping Collins is huge for the Browns, who need an outside linebacker to anchor a defense that needs some more pieces added to it. He is expected to fit nicely in the Browns defensive system in 2017 under new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
The Browns will have the number one pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and most sites have them taking Myles Garrett from Texas A&M to bolster their pass rush. Cleveland’s linebackers starting linebackers in the base 3-4 defense are Collins, Christian Kirksey, Demario Davis, and Emmanuel Ogbah. Kriksey lead the team with 148 total tackles.
Between Cleveland and New England, Collins racked up 112 tackles during the season in 15 games, while also recording 3.0 sacks, 2 forced fumbles. 2 interceptions, and 3 pass deflections.
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