The New England Patriots could be bringing back an old friend.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Patriots are in talks to bring back free-agent linebacker Jamie Collins, whom New England traded to the Cleveland Browns midway through the 2016 campaign.
Collins ended up signing a four-year extension with the Browns that ensuing offseason, but he made it just two years into the deal before being cut earlier this offseason.
The 29-year-old is coming off of a 2018 campaign in which he played all 16 games and registered 104 tackles, four sacks, an interception, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and four passes defended.
Collins, who played his collegiate football at the University of Southern Mississippi, was originally selected by the Patriots in the second round (52nd pick overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft.
He appeared in all 16 contests with the Patriots during his rookie year, finishing with 56 tackles, a fumble recovery and four passes defended. Then, the following season, Collins racked up 138 tackles, four sacks, a pair of picks, four forced fumbles and a couple of fumble recoveries.
The McCall Creek, Ms. native went on to make his first Pro Bowl in 2015, totaling 89 stops, 5.5 sacks, an interception, five forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, six passes defended and a defensive touchdown.
The Patriots then traded Collins to the Browns seven games into the 2016 campaign, but in spite of an excellent 2018 season statistically, Collins was a pretty big disappointment in Cleveland overall, participating in just six contests in 2017 due to injury.
New England is coming off of its sixth Super Bowl title.