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Browns take step toward offseason goals by signing Jamie Collins

The Browns spoke of being appropriately aggressive this offseason.

They made good on that approach Monday by signing linebacker Jamie Collins Sr. to a four-year extension, the first move of what Cleveland hopes to be a pivotal offseason.

"It's no secret how I feel about Jamie Collins," head coach Hue Jackson said in a released statement. "He's an outstanding football player and a guy we think can be part of the foundation of a tremendous defense.

"I was excited when we were able to trade for him last season, and now, I'm even more excited knowing that he is going to part of our future."

Keeping Collins, a Pro Bowler in 2015 who was acquired via an October trade with the Patriots, is the Browns' first significant roster move of the new year. He will work with new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and figures to play a key role in Cleveland's long-term future.

The youth-laden Browns, who own the first and 12th overall picks in this year's NFL Draft, are working toward assembling a nucleus of talent, and the 27-year-old Collins is a part of that.  

"From the day I walked in the door, I felt welcomed by my new teammates and everyone in this organization," Collins said in a released statement.  

"The past is the past as far as last season's record, but today is a new day. I'm only looking forward. I know we have a lot of work to do, and with coach Hue leading us and the front office bringing in talent, I feel like we are going to get there and I feel good about continuing my career here."

Collins is also Cleveland's first unrestricted free agent to ink a new deal with the team. Leading receiver Terrelle Pryor, offensive lineman Austin Pasztor, punter Britton Colquitt, safety Jordan Poyer and defensive tackle Stephen Paea are set to become free agents this spring.  

"We are going to be aggressive about acquiring talent, and when we had the opportunity to trade for Jamie back in October, it was done with the intent of him becoming a long-term part of our defense," executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said.

"Jamie has shown throughout his NFL career that he is a very talented player with a rare skill set that allows him to impact games in a number of ways. He's a versatile, smart, competitive and physical football player who has experienced winning at the highest level."

Collins, who led the Patriots in tackling during their 2014 Super Bowl run, now has the chance to become an impact player on a Browns defense searching for them.

"We all know we have a lot of work to do to get our team where we feel it needs to be. Jamie wants to be a part of that," Jackson said.

"He wants to help build this team for success. He was outstanding in our locker room last year because he's seen what success in the NFL looks like and our players respect the way he carries himself. We are all looking forward to him being a part of the success we plan to earn through our hard work and preparation."​

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