By Henry McKenna
Does the NFL have trade-backs?
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell suggested the Cleveland Browns could trade linebacker Jamie Collins back to the New England Patriots for a 2019 seventh-round pick. The Patriots traded Collins to the Browns at near the mid-season trade deadline in 2016. The Browns gave the Patriots a third-rounder and then gave Collins a four-year, $50 million deal.
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Here’s what Barnwell wrote (in a story that featured 11 feasible blockbusters for this year’s trade deadline):
“Speaking of linebackers on unsustainable contracts, Collins’ four-year, $50 million pact with the Browns hasn’t worked out. He missed 11 games in 2017 with a concussion and a torn MCL, and his role in the defense has been marginalized with Joe Schobert and Christian Kirksey emerging as every-down linebackers. When Schobert and Kirksey are healthy, Collins is the guy usually coming off the field when the Browns go into their sub packages.
“… Collins’ time in New England didn’t end well, but the Patriots need help in their front seven after losing Ja’Whaun Bentley to a torn biceps. A healthy, motivated Collins would be an upgrade on the likes of Kyle Van Noy and free up Dont’a Hightower to take the occasional snap as an edge rusher, a tactic the Patriots used to try to create pressure before Hightower got injured last season. The Patriots wouldn’t owe Collins any guaranteed money after the season and would surely ask Collins to renegotiate his deal to stay with the team. Would a one-year reunion make sense for both...