Jamie Collins Traded - Now What?

People will try to dismiss how good Jamie Collins is, but don't listen to them. He isn't overrated,
he isn't a product of the system, he hasn't been bad this year, and he definitely isn't a locker
room poison. Jamie Collins is the most athletic linebacker in football. He fit our defensive
scheme perfectly, and he was universally loved by both the fans and his teammates.
Bill Belichick tried to send his team a message by trading Collins—the message that no one
is safe—but he went about it in a completely wrong way. If you dump a player who played
hard and had a good attitude, that sets the precedent in your locker room that you don't
reward your players. If there is no reward on the table, why should guys even bother trying?
The team just got rid of someone all the players really liked, and guys like Dont'a Hightower
are clearly upset about the decision. This team didn't need a jolt or a rude awakening;
they were 7-1. Everyone in the Patriots locker room already knew what Belichick's deal
was—no BS and no nonsense. Keep your mouth shut, listen to your coaches and put in the
effort. Bill didn't need to trade Collins to remind his players that. He jeopardized the quality
of his team to send a message, and an unnecessary one at that. Not only was it unnecessary,
it backfired. Players are disgruntled and fans are straight up baffled.

Trading Collins for chump change is bad enough. What makes it worse is that the Pats don't
have a real replacement ready. They traded for Barkevious Mingo, a former first round pick
out of LSU, back in August, but he hasn't played much outside of punt and kickoff coverage.
Belichick also dealt a sixth rounder to the Lions for their 2014 first round pick Kyle van Noy,
another dynamic linebacker who hasn't lived up to his draft position after his successful
career at BYU. There's also Elandon Roberts, the former Houston linebacker who the Pats
took in the sixth round last year. He has made a few good plays against the run this year,
but he's inexperienced and pretty one-dimensional. Sure, the Pats have depth, but they
simply don't have the talent to replace Collins this year.

The Patriots have been the most successful team in the NFL over the past 15 years, there's no
doubting that. However, nobody's exempt from criticism. Unless a coach wins the Super Bowl
literally every season, you have to look back and find out what went wrong, then blame the
coach for his poor decisions. Bill isn't a bad coach, far from it actually. He's the best of all time,
but that doesn't mean he's perfect. This Jamie Collins deal is a perfect example of that. Overall,
people should have faith in Belichick, but when it comes to this trade, in Bill we do not trust.