FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Veteran linebacker Jamie Collins has proved that players can go home again. And again. And again. And again.
Collins has agreed to a contract to return to the New England Patriots, his agent David Canter of GSE Worldwide Football confirmed Monday. It will be Collins' fourth stint with the Patriots, where he began his career as a second-round draft choice (2013-2016), returned in 2019 and then again in 2021.
The Patriots have dual options in bringing Collins aboard -- active roster or practice squad -- as they look to address their run defense that has allowed 325 yards over the past six quarters in losses to the Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers.
Collins, 32, had visited with the Patriots on Sept. 21. As part of the trickle-down effect of his arrival, the club has informed practice squad linebacker Harvey Langi that he is being released, according to sources.
The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Collins has appeared in 122 regular-season games (104 starts) and has been credited with 76 tackles, 19 forced fumbles and 12 interceptions. He has also appeared in nine playoff games (7 starts), winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots in the 2014 season.
The Patriots have rotated at inside linebacker alongside captain Ja'Whaun Bentley through the first four games of the 2022 season, with veteran Raekwon McMillan, Mack Wilson Sr. and Jahlani Tavai, among others.
Collins' versatility to play inside linebacker, but also move to the edge, has long been valued by the Patriots' coaching staff.
The Patriots (1-3) host the Detroit Lions (1-3), one of Collins' other former teams, on Sunday.