The Lions set out to trade Jamie Collins a week ago and said they had multiple suitors. Those suitors must have changed their minds.
On Tuesday the Lions flat-out released the veteran linebacker, announcing the news via Twitter.
The Lions put Collins on the block after his struggles in the team's Week 2 loss to the Packers raised questions about his effort -- questions that head coach Dan Campbell didn't exactly quiet the next day. Two days later, Campbell said the Lions were working quickly on a trade.
"We’ve got suitors right now, so certainly we’re hoping to have this done sooner than later," Campbell said last Thursday. "But we’re not necessarily putting a timetable on it either. We’ve had open communication with Jamie. We sat down and told him straight up and he’s been good. He understands."
Campbell said the team wanted to open playing time for rookie middle linebacker Derrick Barnes, who played about half the defensive snaps and made four tackles in Detroit's Week 3 loss to the Ravens.
"We’ve been through two games now and you just make your assessment and your judgement of where we’re at," Campbell said. "And we felt like if you’re going to grow and try to get better as a team and as a unit, you better do it right now. I think this is best for Jamie as well. He gets a chance to go somewhere and do what he does, and we’re just in a different place."
It remains to be seen where Collins winds up. (New England, anyone?) He had 10 tackles through two games and a team-high 101 tackles last season after signing a three-year, $30 million deal with the Lions. The nine-year vet, who won two Super Bowls and made the 2015 Pro Bowl with the Patriots, turns 32 in October.
By releasing Collins, the Lions will carry dead cap hits of $5.3 million this season, $3.3 million next season and $1 million each of the three seasons after that. On the flip side, they'll save $2 million in cap space this year and $10 million next year.