Have to get this off my chest so I can stop thinking about it. I think Bill Belichick did the right thing by trading Jamie Collins.
Anyone watching New England knows their offense is firing on all-cylinders. It is the defense that is the big question mark. And the Patriots defense this season was actually better when Jamie Collins was not on the field. Let that sink in for a minute. The biggest issue for many fans is the lack of pressure on the opposing QB by the Pats defense. Collins had just 1 sack in the first half of the season. Do you think someone will be able to step up and replace or improve upon that one sack in the second half? I do.
New England was already starting to use rookie Elandon Roberts more and Collins less. You don't want a player in his contract year, a player who by reports plays when he wants to play, getting reduced snaps in games. That player is bound to be unhappy with his decreased playing time hurting his market value. Would that player become a clubhouse distraction down the stretch and into the playoffs? Well now the Patriots don't need to find out.
Right now the Patriots don't have any major dead money salaries on the books. Their two best players, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, are both grossly underpaid. The team wasn't about to give Collins the type of money he is looking for and in the end the current on-the-field production and potential distractor-factor wasn't worth it to Belichick for what the team is already paying him now.
I wish Jamie Collins nothing but the best. I hope he does get his big payday. But it will be interesting to watch (from afar) if all that money effects his motivation to play all-out.