Releasing Collins will only cost the Browns $2.5 million in salary-cap space this season and saves the Browns $9.25 million in cap costs in 2019 and $13.75 million in 2020. Collins had been due to earn $10 million in salary in 2019 and $12 million in 2020.
"We want to thank Jamie for his contributions to the Cleveland Browns," general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. "These types of decisions are never easy. Jamie is a respected veteran player in this league and we wish him the best as he continues his career."
Thanks for everything @Browns 💯— Jamie Collins (@j_collins91) March 6, 2019
The Browns traded for Collins the season after he led New England in tackles and went to the Pro Bowl. Cleveland then signed him to a four-year, $50 million contract before he hit free agency in 2017.
Collins started eight games for the Browns after the trade, but missed 10 games in 2017 after he needed surgery for a torn medial collateral ligament.
He returned to start all 16 games in 2018 and led the team in tackles with 104 (73 solo), with 4 sacks and an interception, forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
But while Collins' play was solid, it was never spectacular. In 30 starts in Cleveland, he had 7 sacks and 4 interceptions. But none were major game-changing plays worthy of a contract that made him one of the highest-paid linebackers in the league.