The $tory of Jamie Collins getting his old No. 58 back

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When Jamie Collins signed with the Patriots this week, he was originally assigned jersey No. 30 for his third tenure in New England.

As a second-round pick who reached Pro Bowl status with the Patriots from 2013-16, Collins wore No. 91. During his impressive 2019 run with the team as part of the Boogeymen defense, he donned No. 58.

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But 30? The now 31-year-old linebacker just wasn’t feeling it.

“Thirty didn't look too hot on me out there. I ain't going to lie,” Collins said in a Friday Zoom call with reporters. “It ain't look too hot, so I had to go back and try to get 58. And my man let me get it."

The man in question was Patriots second-year linebacker Anfernee Jennings. A 2020 third-round pick out of Alabama, Jennings was placed on injured reserve on Aug. 31.

“I had to do what I had to do, man, to try to go back to five-eight,” Collins said with a smile. “One of the young boys had it, but he was kind enough to let me get it off of him, and I appreciate him for that.”

While Collins didn’t want to get into the details of the acquisition of his previous jersey number, it indeed came at a cost. It was an investment he was more than happy to make.

“I just paid the man off. Gave him a couple thousand,” Collins declared. “I took good care of him. I'm blessed, I've been blessed, so I'm always looking to help people. So (I) definitely gave him a chunk of change for it."

Collins has been practicing with his new/old Patriots teammates this week and sounds hopeful of making his New England debut for a third time, in his bought-and-paid-for No. 58 jersey, on Sunday in Houston.

“I hope so. I hope so,” Collins said of suiting up against the Texans, obviously deferring that decision to Bill Belichick. “We'll see, though. Like I said, I just got here. I come here to do my job, and I'm just here to do my job. Like I said, it's a privilege and it's an honor, and I'm grateful to be here. Whatever the man wants, the man gets."

Including his preferred jersey number, apparently.

As Deion Sanders famously said, “If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good.”

Collins is clearly feeling good and plans on looking good, now the rest is up to him.

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