The Dallas Cowboys are going to play their second game without right tackle La’el Collins on Monday night. At the conclusion of it he will be 40% through a five-game suspension that was handed down after the team’s season-opener over two weeks ago.
News of the suspension was a shock to Cowboys fans as Collins had just played his first game after missing all of the 2020 season. His absence last year was one of the reason’s why the team performed so poorly and he spoke leading into this season about how much it hurt to watch his team and not be able to help.
In the immediate aftermath of Collins’ suspensions various reports began to trickle out as to the murkiness of his suspension. It was noted that he had missed several drug tests and reportedly had justifiable reasons for doing so which ultimately led many to wonder just why he was suspended.
Sunday morning brought with it another report that makes the case take an even stranger turn.
La’el Collins was reportedly suspended after trying to bribe the league’s drug-test collector
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFLPA had originally worked out a deal with the league for Collins’ suspension to go down from five games to two. Collins still appealed it but based on the evidence presented to the arbitrator, that he reportedly tried to bribe the league’s drug-test collector, the arbitrator returned the suspension to its original five games.
Dallas Cowboys right tackle La’el Collins was suspended after trying to bribe the league’s drug-test collector, sources told ESPN.
Players cannot be suspended for positive marijuana tests under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, but Collins’ issue was multiple missed tests and trying to bribe the test collector, sources said.
The NFL initially was preparing to suspend Collins five games for his actions, but the NFL Players Association — aware of the intended five-game suspension — helped negotiate a reduction to what would have been a two-game ban.
Collins, however, appealed the suspension, and the appeal was heard by an arbitrator appointed jointly by the league and the NFLPA. The arbitrator not only rejected Collins’ appeal but also ruled that, based on the evidence, the suspension should be increased back to the original five games.
Collins’ lawyer is attempting an appeal of the arbitrator’s decision, but league sources believe the suspension, which was announced Sept. 10, will not be reduced.
Assuming that Collins’ actually did attempt a bribe, then it answers some of the confusion that has been surrounding this story since it first dropped. But for Collins to feel so strongly that he didn’t attempt a bribe that he would actually continue to appeal, even with the reduction to two games, makes one really wonder what the actual evidence is against him.
It is obviously frustrating to think that this suspension could have only been two games for Collins and as noted he is currently appealing it, but the report also indicates that the appeal won’t ultimately lead to anything.
Overall this has been a weird suspension story that took another twist, but the facts at this point are that he is serving out a five-game suspension and it is unlikely to be overruled.