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The Patriots are Doing What They Do Better Than Anyone: Re-signing Jamie Collins

JC Ridley. Shutterstock Images.

First of all, thanks for clicking on this blog. On a Barstool page filled with very relevant and entertaining content like athlete sex hijinks, hurricane updates, SNL, and celebrity updates, I appreciate that the Patriots bringing back a player for the fourth time isn't exactly historic, Earth-shattering news worthy of your precious time:

Giphy Images.

So I’m going to assume that by the fact you and I are having this conversation, you are as oddly fascinated with how this team functions as I am. I so welcome to my inner sanctum.

I mean, at what point does Bill Belichick’s involvement with Collins make sense? And I’ll add Matt Patricia to the dynamic as well since he not only signed him in Detroit, but is reportedly active in contract talks now that he’s in his own second New England career. So what kids? Did they like Collins but don’t they? If so, why do they keep letting them walk? If not, why do they keep bringing them back? At some point, you'd think this becomes the Michael Scott/Jan Levinson coupling of pro football, minus the scented candle business and cot at the foot of the bed. 

But apparently not. Frankly I can't tell if it's loving and committed or toxic and co-dependent, but somehow this relationship works. All we know is that the cycle continues. Consider this: Since the Patriots drafted Collins with the 52nd pick in 2013, he's played parts of six years for them, 76 games in all. And if you count training camp, he's worn numbers 8, 58 and 91, all of which are spoken for on this current roster. By the time he dresses for his first practice, he'll have had more numbers than Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman/Cinnabon manager Gene Takavic. 

And yet oddly, this move makes sense from a football standpoint. Through four games, this defense stands somewhere between 11th and 15th best in the major metrics like yards and points allowed. Pro Football Reference has them ranked 25th in overall defense. And their graders are particularly hard on the linebacking corps:

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To me that Mack Wilson metric is especially tough to take because he looked so good throughout the preseason, covering the run sideline-to-sideline, and that carried over into the Miami game in Week 1. But he's dropped off considerably and barely saw the field as the game in Green Bay went on. Raekwon McMillan hasn't had as big a drop off, but that's due largely to the fact he hasn't dressed either of the last two weeks. 

You know who was a good linebacker for them? Why, Jamie Collins. He was their highest graded defender overall last season, highest graded in terms of coverage, and third highest in tackling. Which might lead you to assume they'd have simply kept him around and not waited until October to bring him back. But such is the nature of the elaborate mating ritual that inexplicably goes on between this one franchise and this one player. The breaking up and making up is all part of the foreplay, I guess. 

So welcome back - and back, and back - to Collins. Hopefully he'll give this defense a much needed boost of athleticism while the Wilsons and McMillans sort their shit out. Then we can look forward to them releasing him in February and picking him back up in 2023.