BEREA, Ohio — Former Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins seems to be enjoying himself in football Siberia. Traded from the 7-1 Patriots to the 0-8 Browns, Collins was in a good mood as he dressed by himself in the locker room at the Cleveland training facility Wednesday morning.
“What’s goin’ on?’’ he said to a visitor from Boston.
I asked him if the trade surprised him.
“Of course, just like everybody else. I don’t understand it, but it’s out of my control. I don’t make the calls.’’
“It’s a business, man. And I’m a grown man. So I ain’t going to worry. I’m just blessed to be in a position. I get the news and I move on. I’m not the type to pout about nothing.”
Do you know Mike Lombardi?
Well, he used to work for the Patriots, and Bill Belichick says he’s a smart guy, and Lombardi has been on the radio saying you didn’t give enough effort.
“Everybody’s got their opinions. Me? I don’t care what they got to say. I know what the business is and I handle my business and I’ll go from there. You’re not me, so I ain’t worried about it. I know what I got to do. I know what I’ve been doing.’’
Are you at all hurt that they seem to be insulting you on the way out the door?
“No. That shows their character. I’m good. I’m happy.’’
They could have dealt you to numerous places. Instead, they sent you to Siberia.
“I ain’t got no problems with coming here and doing what I got to do. I’m a player and I’m a grown man. I know my job and that’s to do what I got to do.
“I’m going to come in here and do what’s best for the team. That’s what I always do. This ain’t my first rodeo. Coming out of college [Southern Mississippi], I was 0-12 and they still took me.
“I’m good in this position. I’m good. Trust me.’’
Do you feel your play dropped off this year?
“Of course, but everybody has ups and downs. There’s a time for everything. My time is now. I’m glad to be in this position and I’m ready to go.’’
They said you were freelancing too much.
“That’s what the coaches are for. It’s not my job to trade anyone. I’m moving on.’’
Do you think they traded you because they didn’t want to pay you?
“I don’t know what the situation is. I don’t know anything about Von Miller money. I don’t know nothing about none of that. That just shows what they like over there. But I know Von Miller money didn’t come out of my mouth. I’m not Von Miller. Let’s have some common sense.’’
Did they offer you $11 million a year?
“No. None of that.’’
How did you find out about the trade?
“I got a call.’’
Who called you? A Patriot person?
“I don’t want to get into that. I’m here now.’’
Did Bill talk to you?
“I talked to him.’’
How’d that go?
“It was OK. It’s business. This is a business league. [Expletive] happens . . . I leave with good terms with anybody.’’
Do you think they’re going to go on and win the Super Bowl?
“I don’t know and I don’t care. I don’t play for New England. I’m over here. All I care about is the Cleveland Browns.”
How do you look back at your New England experience?
“It was fun while it lasted. This is a new chapter in my life and I’m ready to approach it.’’
Any hard feelings toward the Patriots?
“No. It’s a business. At the end of the day, I’m still getting money, man. I’m still getting money, I’m still moving on, and I’m still here playing. I’m not the one that’s watching the game. I’m playing the game.’’
Are you hurt by this?
“No. I’ve been through a lot, so this ain’t nothing. I’m good. I’m on to Cleveland.’’