Browns release veteran linebacker Jamie Collins

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Jamie Collins' tenure in Cleveland is over after 30 games.

The Cleveland Browns released the outside linebacker on Wednesday, the team announced.

"We want to thank Jamie for his contributions to the Cleveland Browns," general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. "These types of decisions are never easy. Jamie is a respected veteran player in this league and we wish him the best as he continues his career."

Collins' release was hinted at during the NFL Scouting Combine when Dorsey acknowledged that the linebacker's play didn't align with his high salary.

"There were some inconsistencies,'' he said at the time. "You don't know what leads to it. He may have been nicked. All I know is he's a very talented football player and you can't have enough of those guys on your team."

Collins remains talented, but disappeared far too often, missed too many tackles, and authored too few explosive plays for a highly paid linebacker. In 2018, the 29-year-old compiled 104 tackles, four sacks and four passes defended.

The Browns acquired Collins in a midseason trade with the New England Patriots in 2016 for a third-round selection. The subsequent offseason, Cleveland inked the linebacker to a four-year, $50 million contract. He made it just two seasons into the deal. Given the high expectations, after 30 games in Cleveland it's fair to consider his tenure a disappointment.

With no guaranteed money left on the contract, Cleveland saves $9.25 million against the salary cap with just $2.5 million in dead money by cutting Collins.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted the Browns attempted to trade Collins in recent weeks, as they did near the trade deadline during the season, but found no takers for his $10.5 million salary.

Turning 30 years old in October, Collins still has the athletic ability to be an adept off-the-ball linebacker earning starter snaps in 2019 if motivated. He might have to settle for a short-term offer on a prove-it deal this time around.

Collins slots in at No. 52 on Around The NFL's Top 101 free agents list.

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