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Detroit makes shocking Jamie Collins decision amid trade rumors

Jamie Collins, Lions

So much for the Detroit Lions finding a trade partner for Jamie Collins.

The Lions announced on Tuesday that they’ve released the veteran linebacker, officially ending his tenure in Detroit barely more than a week after he was in the team’s starting lineup.

Collins started the first two games of 2021 for the Lions, totaling 10 tackles, one tackle for loss and one quarterback hit. He was benched after Detroit’s Week 2 loss to the Green Bay Packers, though, and Lions coach Dan Campbell expressed optimism a few days later that they’d be able to trade the ninth-year veteran.

“We’ll see where it goes,” Campbell said on September 23, per Dave Birkett of Detroit Free Press. “There again, we’re just letting this thing play out right now. We’ve got suitors right now. So certainly we’re hoping to have this done sooner than later, but we’re not necessarily putting a timetable on it either. We had open communication with Jamie. We sat down and told him straight up. He’s been good. He understands.”

Campbell reiterated the likelihood of Collins being traded as recently as Monday. Less than 24 hours later, though, Collins finds himself without a job, and the Lions’ decision to release him speaks to the lukewarm interest in his services at best league-wide.

Odds are that Collins ultimately finds a new football home. He’s obviously a step slower than he was in his prime, but is only 18 months removed from signing a three-year, $30 million deal with Detroit.

Don’t be surprised if Collins winds up back with the New England Patriots, with whom he spent the first three seasons of his career while helping Bill Belichick and company to a Super Bowl win in 2016.