I've got to say I've been very critical if the players we've brought in over the last five years, but I do think Belichick found real good football players in Collins and Jones. I think these two are our new cornerstones for the future. Now I will say Jones disappeared in both those playoff games, but his production up until the month of December was off the charts. Collins may of turned in two playoff performances like I haven't seen from a defender around here in ten years...even in the loss he was way more than solid.
I think the real question is what do we do with Wilfork and Kelly? Because in my opinion these guys either won't be here next year or will be rotational players. I think the rotation option is best for both this team and those players going forward. I think it must be a priority to sign and or draft a premier talent at the defensive tackle position. I said this last year too (because I thought Vince was being used too much) and because I just didn't think we had enough on is team. I'd love to see both return as veteran presences and to fill in as the new guys learn the system.
As for Talib, I wouldn't sign him unless it was for a very very outrageously friendly team deal. I have no faith that he will do anything but battle hip injuries again next year, or go down permanently in the playoffs. In my opinion I'd go for a more reliable option - I just don't think we need more players we can't rely on and he's one of those guys.
I think this defense has not seen a player like Collins on it ever before - I think he is that good - the sky is the limit for him...there are very few guys that are that explosive that can actually do all the things he can do. Von Miller may be a little faster, but he can't do half of what Collins can do...and I mention Von because they both have the same measurables, and I can imagine Collins rushing like that in the future if needed...but I can never imagine Von dropping into coverage or making tackles in space.