Chiefs Linked to Former All-Pro Linebacker in Trade Discussions

Jamie Collins

Getty Jamie Collins reacts after a play against Washington.

After getting smothered during the first two regular-season games of the 2021 season, there’s a noticeable need for a difference-maker on the Kansas City Chiefs defense.

Even with Frank Clark, Chris Jones, and Tyrann Mathieu, there are too many issues arising at other spots on the defense that have caused the Chiefs’ defense to struggle early this season. That’s why through two weeks the unit is the worst rush defense in the NFL in several categories, along with being tied for fifth-worst in the league in sacks (3) and last in pressures (10), per Pro Football Reference.

That’s why it would make plenty of sense for the Chiefs to bring in some veteran talent at this point in this season to help solve several issues on defense.

One name brought up, for this reason, is Detroit Lions linebacker, Jamie Collins.

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Collins on Trade Block

Collins was held out of practice Wednesday and has been the subject of trade discussions between Detroit and other teams, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The team is fielding calls and is exploring a trade for the veteran linebacker.

This brings about an important question given the circumstances for the Chiefs through two weeks of the regular season: would Jamie Collins makes sense for the defending AFC champions? Let’s take a look at what we know regarding both potential trade parties.


Does Trade Make Sense for Chiefs?

The Lions are in rebuild mode given the fact that they are continuing to try and get younger on both sides of the football and have major holes at some of the most important positions on the team, like quarterback, wide receiver, several spots along the offensive line and in the secondary, per PFF’s grading.  So, shipping away Collins, 31, makes sense for a team that has five draft picks in 2022 and could use some more to expedite their rebuild.

Because Collins is potentially being traded in-season, any team that was to acquire him would only owe the veteran $3.378 million for the rest of the season, as mentioned by ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter. He also notes that using a bit of salary cap manipulation Detroit could drop Collins’ base salary by paying him a signing bonus, making him an even more intriguing trade target.

Collins excels as a run defender and pass rusher, earning PFF grades of 79.8 and 82.3 respectively in those categories through two weeks of the 2021 regular season. And, as mentioned earlier, those are two areas the Chiefs need a lot of help in. Tack on the fact that Kansas City currently has $9.156 million in available cap space, per the NFLPA’s public salary cap report — that leaves plenty of financial room for the Chiefs to bring Collins aboard even if his base salary wasn’t adjusted prior to him being traded. Kansas City also has seven draft picks in 2022 to utilize in a trade (first rounder, second rounder, third rounder, fourth rounder, sixth rounder, two seventh rounders), via Pro Football Network.

As the Chiefs Wire’s Charles Goldman pointed out, Kansas City defensive line coach Brendan Daly was a defensive assistant coach in New England when Collins was a Patriot, which could draw Kansas City to have a bit more interest in the veteran thanks to the additional intel on him.

The last thing to figure out is how to fit Collins on the active roster. The most obvious position they can demote a body to the practice squad from is tight end. Travis Kelce, Blake Bell, Jody Fortson, and Noah Gray have been on the active roster through the first two weeks of the regular season. But there isn’t necessarily a need to have all of them on the active roster thanks to practice squad rules, which include the ability to protect players from being poached by other teams. Demoting one of them — likely Fortson — would create a spot on the 53-man squad for Collins.

So to bring it back around — trading for Collins would make sense for the Chiefs. Given Kansas City’s need for a stout run defender and another body that can pressure the quarterback consistently, Collins fits the mold of a cheap, veteran playmaker that can help the reigning AFC champions as they attempt to make their third straight Super Bowl appearance.

Luckily, the linebacker room will be welcoming back Willie Gay (toe) from injured reserve soon, which will also help some of their defensive woes. But bringing in Collins can only help solidify a defense that has looked helpless at the start of the regular season.

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