1. Jamie Collins – four-years, $3.761 million (one year remaining)
Collins, arguably the most underpaid player in the entire league, is due for a huge payday next offseason. Fans and coaches have taken notice to Collins’ rare athleticism and playmaking skills, and he will be a huge target for big spenders if the Patriots fail to extend him before free agency. Collins will be due a mere $917,864 as his base salary next season.
Last season, Collins led the league with five forced fumbles while also recording 5.5 sacks. Collins was relied on as a leader of the defensive unit, along with his counterpart, Dont’a Hightower, and Collins was rewarded by being named to the second All-Pro team, even after only playing in 12 games.
Obviously, Collins is so vastly underpaid because he is entering the final year of his rookie contract, but no one expected the second-round draft pick to develop into the quarterback-sacking, fumble-producing, tackle-machine that he is today. Collins was a no-brainer to me as the best “value player” on the New England Patriots.
Don’t take these exceptionally talented, valuable, and cheap players for granted. In the coming years, they will all likely be loading up their trucks to head to the bank. This Patriots roster is stacked and this has to be the best opportunity in the near future for the organization to bring home Lombardi number five.