Two days after being traded from New England to Cleveland, linebacker Jamie Collins spoke for the first time to reporters covering his new team. As he was for three-plus years in New England, Collins was a man of few words, but the ones he chose were nonetheless interesting.
Collins admitted to being surprised to learn that he'd been dealt by the team that drafted him in the second round in 2013, and that he didn't understand why, but that "Business is business… it's out of my control. I don't make the calls."
He insisted that he left on "good terms" with the Patriots.
"I get the news and I move on," he explained. "I'm not the type to pout about nothing. I'm on to Cleveland."
Various media reports suggested that before the trade, Collins, who's in the final year of his original rookie contract, was offered a new deal by New England worth in the neighborhood of $11 million per season, but that the turned it down. According to those reports, Collins was seeking a much larger annual salary, similar to the $19 million per annum that Denver linebacker Von Miller currently receives.
"I didn't get anything," Collins maintained when asked about the reported offer. "I don't know [anything] about Von Miller money. Nothing. It never came out of my mouth, never. Let's be smart. Let's all have some common sense.
"I'm here [in Cleveland] now. This is my home for right now, so I'm going to play like this is my home. This is my focus."
Back here in Foxborough, Collins' former teammates continued to share their thoughts about his sudden departure.
"Everyone is still going to be in touch with him. He's our friend for life, so, that doesn't change," quarterback Tom Brady asserted.
Safety/co-captain Devin McCourty echoed Brady's sentiments about keeping in touch with Collins, adding that "there is an emotional part of seeing a guy go."
McCourty also emphasized that he "wouldn't want to be in Bill [Belichick]'s shoes" having to make tough [personnel] decisions like this one.
Wide receiver Chris Hogan was the only Patriot who didn't practice Wednesday. According to the Boston Herald, Hogan was ill and the team gave him the day off to recuperate.
Meanwhile, rookie QB Jacoby Brissett came out to the field to stretch with his teammates. Brissett, who remains on injured reserve, wore his number 7 jersey, but did not have a helmet, did not have anything covering his surgically repaired right thumb.
For the second day in a row, the Patriots added to the tight end position. Today, it was Matt Lengel, who was plucked from the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad. Lengel was wearing jersey number 82. The Patriots had room for Lengel on the 53-man roster after trading Collins this week.
New England will take the rest of the week off from practice to enjoy its bye weekend. Several players were seen leaving the locker room this afternoon with small pieces of luggage. A few mentioned that they'd be heading out of town until they return next week to prepare in earnest for their next opponent, the Seattle Seahawks.