Midway through his second season with the Detroit Lions, veteran linebacker Jamie Collins could be on his way out.
The club is exploring trade possibilities for Collins, fielding calls from other clubs as part of a youth movement at the position, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. The emergence of linebacker Derrick Barnes, a rookie fourth-round draft pick from Purdue, has made Collins more expendable, per Rapoport. Collins was listed as a DNP on Wednesday's practice report because of a "personal matter."
Coach Dan Campbell hinted at the state of the Lions linebacking corps following Monday night's loss to the Green Bay Packers, specifically as it relates to Collins and Barnes.
"Jamie, look, Jamie had some mistakes. It wasn't, certainly, his best performance and, yeah, I think Barnes deserves a shot," Campbell said.
The Lions signed Collins to a three-year, $30 million contract in March of 2020, including $18 million guaranteed. He agreed to a restructure this past offseason that reduced his cap hit and added voidable years, thus making him more tradable, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported. The 2015 Pro Bowler made 101 tackles for the Lions in 2020 with three forced fumbles and a sack, and this season has 10 stops while starting both of the Detroit's games thus far.
The Lions (0-2) play host to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. And with Ravens QB Lamar Jackson's ability to make tacklers miss, Lions linebackers will be tested like in few if any other games on the schedule. Campbell also noted a higher level of effort from LB Alex Alex Anzalone, while praising Collins' ability to rush the passer on third down.
"Look, Jamie is a big linebacker. He's a very athletic linebacker. The way he moves is a little bit different. Now, does he move with the same effort or have the same effort as Alex (Anzalone)? No, I don't (think so)," Campbell added. "I think Alex just plays at a high level all of the time. That's him. That's how it goes. Jamie - there are things that Jamie does well that we still have to continue to use. He's still a mismatch on third down, particularly in the rush game and we'll see where this goes."
Where it goes, apparently, could be to another club.