Cowboys OT La’el Collins suspended by NFL for trying to bribe drug test collector

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On September 10, Dallas Cowboys right tackle La’el Collins was suspended five games by the NFL. Not for a specific violation of the league’s substance abuse policies — players can no longer be suspended for marijuana use — but for missing multiple drug tests. And as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning, Collins was also suspended for trying to bribe the test collector.

Collins played 83 snaps in the Cowboys’ season opener against the Buccaneers on Thursday, September 9, and hasn’t played since for that reason. He had also been dealing with a stinger that limited his preseason participation to 43 snaps, but at this point, the stinger is the least of his worries. Terence Steele was Collins’ replacement against the Chargers in Week 2, allowing no sacks, no quarterback hits, and three quarterback hurries. Collins missed the entire 2020 season with a hip injury, and Steele was his primary replacement then, as well. The undrafted free agent then-rookie from Texas Tech allowed nine sacks, five quarterback hits, and 34 quarterback hurries last season.

Per Schefter’s report, the NFL’s original plan was to suspend Collins five games, and the NFLPA brokered a deal to reduce it to two games. But Collins appealed the suspension with an arbitrator appointed by the league and the players association. Not only did the arbitrator deny Collins’ appeal, it was ruled that based on the evidence, Collins’ suspension should be the original five games.

Collins would not be available until October 18, when the Cowboys take on the Patriots in a Week 6 battle. Also per Schefter, the suspension as it stands now will cost Collins about $2 million. Per the CBA, it also voids the injury guarantee worth $6.48 million in his 2022 salary.

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