It is a must that I start off this column by saying that I for one am a Jalen Collins fan. I believe in his talent and I believe in his fit within the Atlanta Falcons.
The tasking for this column came days before the news of Collins receiving a 10-game suspension for his second violation of the league Performance-Enhancing substance policy. If you recall, he started off the 2016 season on the suspension list for the first four games for the exact same reason.
His name has been floating around trade rumors this offseason and honestly, it was somewhat unreasonable. Granted he is still developing as a player, but Collins was very valuable to the team during the second half of last season and his talent is clear. His recent suspension will generate an inferno of trade rumors now, if not outright release, at least when he returns from suspension. I took the liberty of coming up with a few trade scenarios involving Collins, in case the team decides to move on from the 6'1” corner because of his second violation.
Atlanta Falcons receive: DL Sheldon Richardson
New York Jets receive: CB Jalen Collins, 2018 4th round pick
It is enticing to imagine Richardson and the possibility of him wearing a Falcons jersey. The rumors having been floating for some time now, including as recently as the 2017 NFL Draft.
Richardson is obviously disgruntled in the Big Apple and would like to be on a different roster that has winning days ahead. At 6'3 293 lbs, Richardson has shown the ability during his time in New York to be one of the more versatile defensive linemen in the NFL. Richardson has seen time at defensive tackle, defensive end, and standup linebacker in the Jets scheme and in Atlanta, he would be able to line up as a strong-side defensive end on run downs and can kick inside on the money downs. He also has the ability to stay outside and rush the edge on passing downs. The combination of Richardson, Takkarist McKinley, Vic Beasley, Adrian Clayborn, Derrick Shelby, and Jack Crawford will give Atlanta a scary rotation at defensive end.
The pick may cost the team depth at corner and a draft pick that has proved to be worthwhile in the Dan Quinn era. For a talent such as Richardson, it will be worth it. Collins with the Jets gives the team a capable defensive back who can form a solid duo with Morris Claiborne over time.
Atlanta Falcons receive: CB Justin Bethel, DT Corey Peters
Arizona Cardinals receive: CB Jalen Collins, 2018 5th round pick
A trade such as this would indicate that the Falcons would be interested in maintaining valuable depth at the cornerback spot. Obtaining Bethel does just that. Bethel is currently in a cornerback battle in Arizona with 2016 draft picks Brandon Williams and Harlan Miller along with veteran Tramon Williams.
Bethel has been in Arizona since 2012 and has yet to pan out. However, in Atlanta, much would not be asked of him. He will be leaned on to continue to shore up depth at cornerback behind Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford, and Brian Poole.
The familiar name in Peters would be interesting. Peters left the Falcons in 2015 in free agency and has been a mild disappointment. Even though he is coming off a season where he injured his Achilles, he also not being to do much more than just shore up the depth at defensive along with Ra'Shede Hageman.
Atlanta Falcons receive: 2018 6th round pick
Jacksonville Jaguars receive: CB Jalen Collins
A move that simply says "trying to make a move, any move really.” There is really very little impact contained within a trade such as this for either side, but it’s still something both teams would consider. Sending Collins to Jacksonville does very little to their starting duo in Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, but it does help the depth behind the two big corners. On the other side of the spectrum, the Falcons get a late round selection and for a team that has made strides in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft, this may be music to their ears.
It must be put in perspective that although an asset, Collins trade value has taken a significant hit because of his suspension. As noted with the trade scenarios given, it may take a little elbow grease and possibly a little good luck for the Falcons to move Collins, if they want to move him. It will be interesting to see if the Falcons want to move Collins at all or give him another chance to