Patriots sign linebacker Jamie Collins
The Patriots pulled off their second reunion in as many weeks, signing linebacker Jamie Collins, a league source confirmed Wednesday.
Collins already is in Foxborough and is expected to participate in some on-field work Thursday as the team continues its voluntary offseason workout program.
The signing comes a week after veteran tight end Ben Watson agreed to return for a second tour of duty in New England.
The Patriots traded Collins to Cleveland for a third-round pick on Oct. 31 of the 2016 season, and the Browns gave him a four-year, $50 million contract in 2017. Collins, who will turn 30 in October, was cut after last season despite playing 91 percent of the defensive snaps for the Browns and registering 104 tackles and four sacks.
The athletic Collins was drafted in the second round in 2013 and developed into a high-impact player who earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2015.
In 50 games as a Patriot, Collins racked up 326 total tackles, 10½ sacks, and 5 interceptions.
Collins’s return could be a smooth one because not only does he know the system, but Jerod Mayo, whom Collins played alongside, is now on staff as a linebackers coach.
The Patriots linebacking corps is led by versatile veterans Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy, and Collins’s skills should mesh well, as the 6-foot-3-inch, 250-pounder is adept at rushing the passer, defending the run, and dropping into coverage.
Elandon Roberts, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Calvin Munson, and Christian Sam as well as undrafted rookie Terez Hall round out the depth chart at the position.
Scout is leaving
Another long-tenured Patriots employee is moving on this offseason.
National scout DuJuan Daniels is leaving for a senior executive position with the Raiders, a league source confirmed.
Daniels told the Patriots not long after the draft that he’d be looking into other job opportunities, and he ultimately landed in Oakland.
There’s usually job movement in the scouting ranks this time of year, since many scouting contracts begin or run out just after the draft. The Raiders sent several members of their scouting department home before this year’s draft, which indicated that their contracts would not be renewed and that new general manager Mike Mayock would be revamping the department.
Daniels started with the Patriots as a scouting intern in 2006 and rose up the ranks to area scout, regional scout, and national scout, a position he held for the last six years. He was the only national scout in the Patriots front office last season.
Daniels, like Mayock, went to Boston College. He is close with Brian Flores, another BC product who was with the Patriots in scouting and coaching before taking his current job as head coach of the Dolphins.
Daniels’s decision may have been made from an understanding that his quickest path to a more senior role in a front office would come elsewhere.
Working for the Patriots provides scouts and younger coaches with an opportunity to learn from one of the most successful franchises in sports, but the culture is top-down. The team operates on a need-to-know basis, which sometimes curbs learning opportunities for those below the very highest levels.
Daniels’s ambition is to be an NFL general manager, and his new position likely offers more upward mobility toward that goal.
Nora Princiotti of the Globe staff contributed.