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Posts tagged with "Jamie Collins"

BEREA, Ohio — Despite the struggles of a 1-15 team, veteran linebacker Christian Kirksey had a banner year in 2016, and for that, he was rewarded with a contract extension. But he is even more motivated to improve, and the Cleveland Browns have fellow linebacker Jamie Collins to thank for that.

By signing a new contract with the Browns well ahead of the start of the new league year, Collins stated his intentions to be a part of the solution in Cleveland, and that has pushed Kirksey to work even harder throughout the offseason program, and now, in two-plus weeks of training camp.

“Playing alongside of a good player, you always want to match it or surpass it, and as long as we’re working together and trying to get each other better, that’s going to keep elevating our game, and that’s just something that me and him are both challenging each other to do,” Kirksey said of Collins.

Ranked near the bottom of the National Football League in several statistical categories, the Browns sought out and added talent to bolster their defense at the trade deadline in November.

And bolster their roster they did by trading a draft pick to the Patriots in exchange for Collins, a veteran defender that has proven versatile enough to contribute on his side of the ball as well as special teams.

Over his career in New England, the 6-foot-3, 250-pound Collins totaled 285 tackles, 10.5 sacks, five interceptions, 10 forced fumbles, four recoveries, one defensive touchdown and a blocked extra point.

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CLEVELAND >> The Browns let several of their top free agents slip away last year. They’ve got their arms wrapped around a new one now.

Cleveland is close to finalizing a multi-year contract with talented linebacker Jamie Collins, who joined the team midway through its 1-15 season but showed the Browns that he’s a player worth keeping for a long time.

CBSSports.com first reported the Browns and Collins had made significant progress on a contract, which could be completed as early as Jan. 21.

Late in the season, Browns coach Hue Jackson said it would be “a coup” if the Browns could sign Collins, who is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in March. The Browns acquired Collins on Oct. 31 from New England, sending a conditional draft pick — likely a third-rounder in April — to the Patriots for the 27-year-old, who made the Pro Bowl after the 2015 season.

In eight games with Cleveland, Collins had 48 tackles, two sacks and forced a fumble. He said he enjoyed playing with the Browns, and was open to the possibility of re-signing with them.

“He is a dependable player,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said in the season’s final days. “He is accountable. We have asked a lot of him. We have played him in a couple different spots. He has taken all of that on and hasn’t blinked. That is a tribute to him. He came in here, fit in with his teammates and started playing.

“I have a lot of respect for him. Hopefully we can keep him around here.”

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