Collins was a productive player for the Patriots when he first broke into the league and then he was traded to the Browns on Halloween of 2016, and shortly after his first season in Cleveland ended, he re-signed with the Browns on a four-year $50 million deal. The deal also included $26.4 million guaranteed, which Collins has received and as a result, the Browns are able to get out of this deal without it doing much damage at all to their cap space.
The veteran linebacker was set to count $11.75 million towards the cap if he were on the roster at the start of the season and by releasing him, the Browns will only be dealing with $2.5 million in dead cap. So in essence, this move frees up $9.25 million in cap space for the Browns to be able to go out and spend in free agency.
Clearing up that amount of cap space to move on from Collins is a pretty easy decision to make for Cleveland, because Collins hasn’t had nearly as much of an impact in Cleveland as he did in New England.
He’s ranked as a pretty average linebacker, and in Cleveland he only got to the quarterback for seven sacks over the course of 30 games during his stint in Cleveland.
Now Collins did have over 100 tackles this past season so he clearly can still be productive and be useful to whichever team decides to scoop him up, but with that being said, Collins wasn’t producing at the level that the Browns needed him to to justify paying him what they were set to pay him.
Cleveland was already set to have a lot of cap space once the league year begins, and now they have even more to try and build on a strong finish to last season as they try and make it back to the postseason for the first time since they lost the Wild Card Game in 2002.