Former Patriots star Jamie Collins announces retirement from playing football


Collins played for the Patriots three separate times over his 10-year career, helping them win a Super Bowl.

Jamie Collins played seven seasons with the Patriots. Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff
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A former Patriots player and Super Bowl champion is walking away from football.

Jamie Collins, 33, announced his retirement from playing, he told ESPN’s Mike Reiss in an interview on Friday.

“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.”

The linebacker spent much of his 10-year playing career with the Patriots, playing seven seasons in New England over three separate stints. Collins first joined New England in 2013, when it selected him in the second of the draft that year out of Southern Miss.

Collins had an immediate impact upon his arrival to the Patriots, starting in eight of the 16 regular-season games he played in as a rookie. He proved to play a vital role for the next wave of great Patriots teams, recording a team-high 116 combined tackles and four sacks during the regular season in 2014. He followed that up with 23 combined tackles and an interception during the playoffs that year, playing every defensive snap during the postseason en route to the Patriots’ win in Super Bowl XLIX.

Collins followed up his breakout season in 2014 with a career year in 2015. He had 89 combined tackles, 5.5 sacks, and a league-high five forced fumbles that season, helping him earn Pro Bowl and All-Pro nods. He had two sacks in the postseason that year.

Even though Collins showed promise to be a part of the Patriots for a long time to come, New England traded him in the middle of the 2016 season, shipping him to Cleveland. He signed a four-year, $50 million deal with the Browns in the ensuing offseason.

Collins put up solid stats over his time in Cleveland, recording 104 combined tackles and four sacks in 2018. But he was released following that season, leading him to sign back with the Patriots.

In his second stint in New England, Collins played a key role in a Patriots defense that was dominant for much of the year in 2019. He had a career-high seven sacks with 81 combined tackles that season.

Collins’s performance with the Patriots in 2019 earned him a three-year, $30 million deal with the Detroit Lions to reunite him with Matt Patricia. After a 101-tackle season in 2020, the Lions cut ties with Collins just a few weeks into the 2021 season.

That led to Collins going back to New England for a third time. Collins mostly played in a backup role during his final stint in New England. He recorded 22 combined tackles over 13 games in the last two seasons.

Collins told Reiss that he wants to become a football coach, saying “I’m still thinking about football all the time, it’s bleeding through my veins. I love the game.”