Jamie Collins 2.0: Pats linebacker, playing better than ever, returns to scene of last game before trade

Jamie Collins gives a rare interview during Patriots training camp in Foxborough in July.

The New England Patriots signed free agent LB Jamie Collin to his third stint the team.

Collins, who was released by the Detroit Lions last week, with the Patriots 2013-16 and 2019 previously.

He will join QB Brian Hoyer as the only New England players with three different stints with the team.

The Patriots also placed DL Henry Anderson on injured reserve. Anderson, who was signed by New England as a free agent on March 19, 2021, was injured in the game last Sunday against Tampa Bay. He played in all four games in 2021 as a reserve on the defensive line and registered three total tackles.

In addition, the Patriots signed DB Elijah Benton to the practice squad.

Collins, 31, is in his ninth NFL season after spending time with New England (2013-16, 2019), Cleveland (2016-18) and Detroit (2020-21). He originally entered the NFL as second-round draft pick (52nd overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft by New England out of Southern Mississippi. The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder played for the Patriots for four-plus seasons before being traded to the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 31, 2016. Collins was released by the Browns on March 6, 2019, and then re-signed with the Patriots on May 15, 2019.

Collins signed with Detroit in the 2019 offseason and was released by the Lions on Sept. 28, 2021, after seeing action in the first two games of the year.

Overall, Collins has played in 112 career regular season games with 102 starts and totaled 680 tackles, 25½ sacks, 19 forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries (one returned for a touchdown), 11 interceptions and 36 passes defensed. He has made seven postseason starts and posted 50 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions and five passes defensed.

Benton, 25, originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Cleveland in 2020 out of Liberty. The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder spent the majority of the 2020 season on the Cleveland practice squad. He was elevated to the active roster and played on special teams at Pittsburgh on Oct. 18, 2020. Benton went to training camp with Cleveland this past summer but was released on Aug. 31.

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