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Patscap breaks down the Jamie Collins trade

Miguel Benzan
Miguel Benzan on Twitter
6 years ago at 7:09 pm ET
Posted Under: Individual Salary Cap

On October 31, 2016 the New England Patriots traded Jamie Collins, a 2013 second round pick, to the Cleveland Browns, for a conditional 2018 fourth-round pick. Given that Adam Schefter who was the first to report the trade, reported that the trade was for the Browns 2017 3rd round compensatory pick it seems very likely that the condition is that if the Browns are awarded a 2017 3rd round pick that pick will be traded to the Patriots and if the Browns are not awarded a 2017 3rd round compensatory pick the Browns will trade their assigned 2018 4th round pick.

What does this trade mean for the Patriots?

* It clears $485,929 in 2016 cap space as the Browns now become responsible for 9 weeks of Collins’ $917,865 salary. 917,865 divided by 17 weeks times 9 weeks = $485,929.
* It will allow the Patriots to use the franchise tag on another player. As of Halloween 2016 these Patriots (Hightower, Bennett, Blount, Scruggs, Ryan, Harmon, Branch, Long, Bolden, Cannon, Develin, Mingo, Sheard and Vollmer) are scheduled to become UFAs after the 2016 season.
* It adds one more draft pick to their 2017 draft capital
* It prevents Collins from being a bad apple in the locker room because of any unhappiness with his lack of an extension. Please note that I am not saying that Collins would have been a bad apple – just pointing out that he could have been.

Some frequently asked questions about the Jamie Collins trade

Q: How much cap space is Jamie Collins now taking up on the Patriots 2016 cap?
A: $716,994
$6,240 offseason workout bonus
$278,818 signing bonus proration
$431,936 8 weeks of his salary

Q: How much cap space did this trade create on October 31?
A: $485,929 – the Browns now become responsible for 9 weeks of Collins’ $917,865 salary.

Q: How much cap space do the Patriots now have as of October 31?
A: $9,577,422 according to my numbers.

Q: What 2017 draft picks do the Patriots now have?
1 Assigned
2 Assigned
3 Assigned
3 If the Browns are awarded a 3rd round compensatory pick in 2017, they will trade it to the Patriots.
4 The lower between the Seattle’s 4th round pick and the Patriots assigned pick. Pats will lose the higher pick as part of the ________ Deflategate punishment.
5 Traded to the Cleveland Browns for Mingo
5 Denver
6 Traded to the Lions for Kyle Van Noy
6 Compensatory Pick for Akeem Hicks
7 Assigned
7 Lions as part of the Kyle Van Noy

Q: Were you surprised by this trade?
A: Yes and No. Yes, because I thought that if Collins was going to be traded it would be after being franchise tagged in February 2017. Thought that this trade would then happen closer to the 2017 draft. No, because I have never thought that the Pats would keep all of the free agents even after the Chandler Jones trade.

Q: Why trade now?
A: 1.) A 2017 3rd compensatory pick is worth more than a 2018 3rd round compensatory pick.
2.) Pats are 7 and 1 and have for the most part already clinched the AFC East.
3.) Helps to eliminate complacency.
4.) Gives more snaps to Roberts, Van Noy, and Mingo.

Q: Did the Patriots trade Collins because they were concerned that they would not get a compensatory pick for him in 2018.
A: Doubtful for two reasons. The Pats would have to sign in 2017 at least as many free agents as they lost which would be very unlikely with the number of unrestricted free agents they will have. Second, the Patriots have shown throughout the years (constructing contracts leading to compensatory picks, signing released players instead of UFAs, releasing signed UFAs before Week 10) that they are well aware of the compensatory pick process so I doubt that they would sign an UFA in 2017 while also knowing that it would cost a 3rd round pick.

Q: Can the Browns receive a 3rd round compensatory pick in 2017?
A: If Alex Mack qualifies as a 3rd round compensatory pick, they should. Nick Korte, the compensatory pick guru, projects that the Browns will get a 3rd round pick for Alex Mack if Mack plays in at least 80% of the remaining snaps this year. Nick Korte projects that the Browns will get the last 3rd round compensatory pick or the 104th overall. Please note that Alex Mack has played every snap for the Atlanta Falcons this year.

Q: Were there signs that this trade was coming?
A: Yes, the Patriots signed Shea McClellin during free agency. Freeny was extended right before the season. Collins’ snaps have been decreasing throughout the year. The Patriots traded for two linebackers (Mingo and Van Noy this year). Rob Ninkovich practiced at linebacker during training camp.

Q: Could money have played a factor in the trade?
A: Yes. If Collins consider himself as a top pass-rushing LB and the Pats consider him a top non-pass rush LB, it would be hard to bridge the gap since the former (Von Miller, Justin Houston) are paid in the 16 to 19 million range while top non-rush linebackers like Lavonte David and Bobby Wagner are paid in the 10 to 12 million range.

Q: How many career sacks does Jamie Collins?
A: As of today, 10.5 which is less that some top pass rushers get in a year.

Q: How was Collins rated?
A: To my surprise, Jamie Collins was highly rated in Top 100 players rankings before the season
Pro Football Focus – 31
CBS Sportsline’s Pete Prisco – 17
Sports Illustrated – 16

Personally, I did not see it but if Collins did then it is very understandable why he would want to be paid as a top defender.

Q: How does this trade affect the 2017 cap space?
A: No effect at all since Collins was getting zero on the Patriots 2017 cap or as much as you and me.

Q: Was this trade done to help extend Dont’a Hightower?
A: Possible since it prevents the situation where Hightower is not the highest paid linebacker on the Patriots.

Q: Was this trade done to help extend Martellus Bennett?
A: Possible since there is now one less big-money Patriot to allocate future (2017 and beyond) cap space on.

Q: Was this trade done to help extend Malcolm Butler?
A: Possible since there is now one less big-money Patriot to allocate future (2017 and beyond) cap space on.

Q: Was this trade done to help extend Logan Ryan?
A: Possible since there is now one less big-money Patriot to allocate future (2017 and beyond) cap space on.

Q: Can the Browns extend Collins now?
A: Yes.

Q: If Collins leaves the Browns in free agency in March 2017, what team (Browns or the Patriots) will he count as a lost free agent in the 2018 compensatory pick calculations?
A: The Browns

Q: What is the deadline to extend Hightower, Bennett, Long, Harmon, Butler, and the rest of the free agents in 2016?
A: To take advantage of prorating any signing bonuses the deadline is the day before the end of the regular season – specifically 4PM, December 31st.

Q: What was the 2016 franchise tag for linebackers?
A: The 2016 franchise tag on linebackers was $14.129 million.

Q: What will the 2017 franchise tag for linebackers be?
A: Have seen projections between 14 and 15 million.

Q: What Patriots linebackers are signed for the future?
A: McClellin through 2018
Ninkovich through 2017
Freeny through 2018
Van Noy through 2017
Roberts through 2019

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Posted Under: Individual Salary Cap
Tags: collins

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