Former Miami Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell has made an important decision in his new role in charge of the Detroit Lions, and there's a possibility that maybe it could end up benefiting his former team.
Campbell confirmed Thursday morning that the Lions will be looking to trade veteran linebacker Jamie Collins to give more playing time to younger players on the roster, and a quick game of connecting-the-dots certainly would suggest the Dolphins as a possible destination.
Given that the Lions have made it clear they're moving on from Collins, this is one trade where the compensation shouldn't be very substantial — maybe a mid-to-late-round draft pick.
It was with the New England Patriots in 2015 that Collins earned his one Pro Bowl invitation and one of the assistants on that staff, of course, was Dolphins head coach Brian Flores.
Since taking over in 2019, Flores has shown he's not shy about bringing in former Patriots players, and the list of such additions includes Ted Karras, Kyle Van Noy, Eric Rowe, Jamal Perry, Jacoby Brissett, Jason McCourty and Elandon Roberts.
Roberts and Jerome Baker are the top two inside linebackers on the roster, but the team could use a proven veteran like Collins.
The Dolphins currently have seven linebackers on their 53-man roster, counting edge defender Jaelan Phillips. The others are Roberts, Baker, Andrew Van Ginkel, Duke Riley, Sam Eguavoen and Brennan Scarlett.
Campbell said there have been suitors for Collins' services, though the identity of those teams has not been revealed.
Collins is scheduled to make $3.8 million in base salary in 2021 after restructuring his contract.
Collins, who will turned 32 on Oct. 20, has started 102 of his 112 NFL games, including both of the Lions' first two games this season.
During that Pro Bowl season of 2015, Collins had 5.5 sacks and five forced fumbles.
In his contract year of 2016, when Flores became the Patriots' linebackers coach, Collins was traded to Cleveland for a conditional third-round pick but he came back to New England in 2019 and set a career high with seven sacks.
After that 2019 season, he joined Detroit as an unrestricted free agent when he was reunited with another former Patriots assistant, Matt Patricia.
Patricia now has back in New England, and perhaps not coincidentally the Patriots have been mentioned as a possible destination for Collins.