Additionally, the Patriots were supposedly struggling to sign Collins to a contract extension. He reportedly wanted "Von Miller money," which is about $15 million per season. Collins isn't as good as Miller, and he certainly wasn't going to get that kind of money out of the Patriots, who also have to sign Dont'a Hightower, Malcolm Butler and Jabaal Sheard to extensions. From the sound of it, it appears both the Patriots and Collins were happy to move on from each other.
Per my Collins source: Collins turned down 11 million per year and recently got into a heated argument with Patricia recently
The "heated argument" with defensive coordinator Matt Patricia part of Mike Loyko's tweet is also very telling. Anyone who follows the Patriots closely knows the team won't put up with players who are out of line. It doesn't matter how good the player is. The Patriots are not and will not be afraid to cut bait with a player who isn't following their rules. The Patriots almost never put up with a player arguing with a coach, save for the occasional Tom Brady bitch fest.
And this obviously isn't the first time the Patriots have traded away or cut a star player out of nowhere. Richard Seymour, Lawyer Milloy and Randy Moss come to mind. Collins is just the latest casualty.
This trade may make the Patriots worse in the short term, but there is no reason to believe their chances at winning a Super Bowl this year have diminished. This team still has a handful of good players on defense, and still have Brady as the quarterback and Bill Belichick as the head coach.
With the reports of Collins dogging it, the emergence of Elandon Roberts and some of the linebacking depth, it's a move that makes sense when you really think about it. There is also a sense that Belichick isn't done making moves, so it'll be interesting to see if anything else happens in the coming days.