The Patriots have traded linebacker Jamie Collins to the Browns, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday.
The reported price is a compensatory third-round pick. Next year’s draft is the first in which compensatory picks can be traded.
Collins, 27, went to his first Pro Bowl last season. The Browns badly need defensive talent, especially at pass rusher and linebacker, so he’ll immediately be a contributor — and the Browns presumably hope he’ll be a long-term starter and building block.
A second-round pick in 2013, Collins is in the final year of his rookie contract. Though the trade comes as a surprise, Patriots coach Bill Belichick has never been afraid to move players before the Patriots have to lock them up or lose them to free agency.
Collins had 5.5 of his 10.5 career sacks last season. He has one sack and two interceptions this year. Collins had started six games and played in seven this season. He’s started 41 of 50 career games.