Cowboys to reportedly release La’el Collins after looking for trade partner
On Thursday afternoon, NFL’s Tom Pelissero reported that the Dallas Cowboys are allegedly planning to release OT La’el Collins. Last week, there were several rumors going around that the Cowboys were in trade talks with Collins, but no trades ever transpired. Because the front office couldn’t work out a trade, they plan to cut him. Collins marks the third offensive starter to now be gone from Dallas following Amari Cooper and Connor Williams.
According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the front office is releasing him as a June 1 cut. Archer believed that unless the Cowboys were able to get a premium pick for Collins, this cut decision made the most sense. If they cut or traded him before June 1, the team would only gain $1.3 million. By trading him after June 1 (he will take up a roster spot until then), the team will gain $10 million which they can use towards practice squad signings, injury settlements, and other things.
The Cowboys will have to wait to get that money and Collins will become a free agent once the move is official. The team is likely okay with cutting Collins due to his inability to stay on the field. The LSU product has had a number of off-field scandals that have led to suspensions and other issues. In 2021, he was suspended five games for violating the league’s substance abuse policies. According to Adam Schefter, Collins attempted to bribe an NFL drug-test collector after missing multiple testing attempts.
The NFLPA initially reduced the five-game suspension to two. Collins tried to appeal the suspension, and not only was his appeal rejected but the arbitrator reversed his two-game suspension back to five games. His absence was felt by the team.
Cowboys will reportedly release OT La’el Collins as a post-June 1 cut after trying to find a trade for him
Collins has started 71 games for the Cowboys since joining the team in 2015. Although the offensive lineman missed only one game from 2017 to 2019, he collected several absences after. Collins only has two fully-played seasons in his six years in the league. He missed three games in 2016 with a foot injury, and he missed the entire 2020 season with a hip injury.
Although the front office was unable to find a trade for Collins, he will undoubtedly garner interest from several teams once he becomes a free agent. Pro Football Focus gave him an 82.0 overall grade for his effectiveness and strength. At. 28 years old, Collins could have several great years ahead of him if he is able to stay on the field. It will be interesting to see where he ends up once he hits the free market.