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LB Jamie Collins signs four-year contract extension with Cleveland Browns

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The first notable contract is done while we wait for free agency to arrive in a month and a half.

Three months following a trade that sent him from New England to Cleveland, Jamie Collins has signed a contract extension. Collins and the Browns came to terms on a new deal that will pay him as much as $50 million over four years. According to multiple reports, it includes $26 million guaranteed money, but there are no specifics on just how guaranteed it is.

The Patriots dealt Collins rather than extend him or wait for a comp pick. New England will get a third round pick if the Browns are awarded a third round comp pick this year. Otherwise it will be a fourth round pick. The Browns are expected to get a third round comp pick for losing Alex Mack. If the Patriots had kept Collins, they likely would have gotten a similar pick in 2018 as a comp pick.

This deal seems to work well for both sides in some ways. Collins appears to get a sizable chunk of change, and another bite at the free agency apple while he is still young. The Browns get a piece they can work with on defense, and are not overly committed to him if it turns out he might not be quite that piece. For now I think Collins gets the better end of this, but we’ll see.

This is the first real big deal of the offseason, as we wait for free agency to get going in March. There is a ton of money to be had in free agency this offseason, and with the new minimum cash spending timeframe over these next four years, there will be money to be spent.

The 49ers have needs up and down the roster, including at linebacker. I thought Collins might move inside from the Patriots 4-3 to the Browns 3-4, but it appears he stayed outside. The 49ers have options at both inside and outside linebacker, but they will need to invest more in both positions as part of the rebuilding process.