Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle La’el Collins was suspended a few week ago, it was assumed that he violated the NFL’s policies on substance abuse and would be sitting out for five games.
As it turns out, there might be to the story than that.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Collins was suspended after trying to bribe the league’s drug-test collector:
According to ESPN, 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.
The suspension will cost Collins roughly $2 million and, per the CBA, voids the injury guarantee worth $6.48 million in his 2022 salary.
Collins has started 62 of the 63 games he has played for the Cowboys since 2015 at left guard or right tackle. He missed 13 games in 2016 because of a toe injury and all of last season because of hip surgery.