Sometimes, all it takes is one player to turn the tide, and for whatever reason, Jamie Collins has decided to accept Cleveland as home. That was first evidenced when he signed a contract extension well before free agency — sure, it was a pricey extension, but it was also one in which contract evaluators thought the Browns ended up on the winning side.
To show that he’s not just in this to collect a paycheck, Collins played a role in recruiting DB Jason McCourty to Cleveland, a player who I think fans and coaches are excited about because it adds some much-needed depth and experience to the secondary. Here is what McCourty said about Collins’ role in recruiting him, via Dan Labbe of Cleveland.com:
“As soon as I stated to get interested in Cleveland, I talked to my brother [Devin McCourty of the Patriots, who was teammates with Collins] and I asked him what did Jamie think of it and he said he loves it. Jamie said since the day he got here, he’s loved everything about it. I think from that standpoint, me not knowing Jamie personally but watching film on him and knowing what he can do on the field and then trusting my brother with everything, for him to get that perspective from him, especially coming from a team like New England and then coming here where from the outside a lot of people don’t know what’s going on and for him to speak so highly of it, I think that also played a part in me knowing this is the right place for me.”
Browns LT Joe Thomas picked up on McCourty’s comments and agreed that Cleveland has “a good thing going here” but that he’s perfectly fine keeping quiet about it, presumably to take the league by storm when teams least expect it:
I'm telling ya, we've got a good thing going here in cleveland but we're just happy to keep it quiet right now https://t.co/7nNDfzNQzJ— Joe Thomas (@joethomas73) May 25, 2017
As pointed out on Wednesday, the Browns are currently using McCourty with the cornerbacks during OTAs.