Jan 30, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; General view of the helmets of the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots and Lombardi Trophy at press conference for Super Bowl XLIX at the Phoenix Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A former Pro Bowl linebacker and a key piece of the New England Patriots defense is calling it a career. Speaking to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Jamie Collins confirmed that he has retired from the NFL.

“It hasn’t hit me yet, but I’m officially retired,” Collins told Reiss. “It was wonderful and something I never thought I’d be a part of. Made a lot of great relationships. Had a ton of fun. Now it’s time to relax and be with my family.”

Selected by New England in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Collins spent 10 years in the NFL. While he also spent time with the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions, he was best remembered for his time with the Patriots, which included three separate stints with the team.

Following a solid rookie season, the Southern Miss product started in 15 regular-season games in 2014 and all three of New England’s playoff games during the Patriots’ run to Super Bowl XLIX. Facing the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl, Collins tallied eight tackles, including six solo stops.

The following year, he earned second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors after leading the NFL in forced fumbles with five. He was traded to the Browns midway through the 2016 season and signed a four-year, $50 million contract with Cleveland ahead of the 2017 season.

Collins remained with the Browns through the 2018 season before being released and re-signing with the Patriots for the 2019 season. After posting 81 tackles and seven sacks in New England, he signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Lions and led the team with 101 tackles during the 2020 season.

Three weeks into the 2021 campaign, Detroit released Collins after failing to find a trade for him. As a free agent, he re-signed with the Patriots and proceeded to spend what would be the final two seasons of his NFL career with the same team that drafted him.


About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.