Lions 'exploring trade options' for linebacker Jamie Collins

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By , 97.1 The Ticket

The Lions' old regime brought Jamie Collins to Detroit. The new one wants to send him elsewhere.

A day after Dan Campbell suggested Collins could be headed for a smaller role on defense, the nine-year vet has landed squarely on the trade block.

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The Lions "are exploring trade options" for Collins and have "fielded calls," according to Ian Rapoport. With Detroit "going young" at linebacker, Rapoport says Collins "may be on his way out."

The Lions held Collins out of practice Wednesday, presumably with trade talks escalating. Rookie linebacker Derrick Barnes is poised to replace him moving forward.

Collins signed a three-year, $30 million with Detroit last offseason to reunite with Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn. The reunion didn't go as planned. When Detroit's new regime took over this offseason, Collins agreed to a restructured contract that reduced his salary -- and made him more tradable.

If and when the Lions trade him, they'll save $4 million against the cap this season and $10 million next season, while incurring matching dead cap hits of $3.3 million. Whatever the return, that feels worth it for a player whose effort appeared to be lacking in Detroit's Week 2 loss to the Packers.

"Look, Jamie had some mistakes,” Campbell said on Wednesday. “It certainly wasn’t his best performance.”

Asked specifically about Collins' effort compared to that of fellow MLB Alex Anzalone, Campbell said that Collins is a "big linebacker" who "moves a little bit different.

"Now, does he move with the same effort or have the same effort as Alex? No, I don’t (think so)," Campbell said. "I think Alex just plays at a high level all the time."

The Lions will likely seek a late-round pick in exchange for Collins, who did lead the team in tackles last season but produced few game-changing plays.