BOSTON (CBS) — When Bill Belichick traded Jamie Collins in the middle of the 2016 season, it immediately joined the list of shocking moves made by the Patriots’ boss.

Might Belichick be willing to pull off another?

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Collins was officially released by the Lions on Tuesday, after the team spent the past week trying to find a trade partner.

The release means that any team interested in signing Collins would not have to pay his previous contract, thus making him a much more appealing addition for interested teams.

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Collins, a second-round pick by the Patriots in 2013, is 31 years old. He’s six seasons removed from his lone Pro Bowl and Second-Team All-Pro nod, but he was a highly active member of the Detroit defense last season. In 14 games, he recorded 101 total tackles (55 solo, 46 assists) with six pass defenses, one interception, three forced fumbles, six tackles for loss, and one sack.

He’s played in two games for Detroit this season, recording 10 tackles (seven solo, three assists) with a QB hit, a fumble recovery, and a tackle for a loss.

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The Patriots may have a need at inside linebacker, as Ja’Whaun Bentley was held out of the second half of Sunday’s game with an injury.

CBSBoston.com Staff