The Cincinnati Bengals have signed former Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle La’el Collins to a three-year contract, the team announced Sunday night.
The Bengals, not far from their Super Bowl run, have now added offensive linemen Ted Karras, Alex Cappa and Collins the NFL free agency signing period to help protect star quarterback Joe Burrow .
Cincinnati’s latest move reunites Collins with assistant coach Frank Pollack, who oversaw the Cowboys offensive line when Collins entered the league in 2015. Pollack met local media in Cincinnati on Friday when the offensive lineman was at Paul Brown Stadium during his visit. Pollack said he had a “great relationship” with Collins during their time in Dallas and said he had the disposition the Bengals were looking for in free agency.
“He definitely fits the mold of a ‘glass eater,'” Pollack said. “Just watch his tape. It’s clearly evident. He’s mean and he was a lot of fun to train.”
The Cowboys released Collins on March 17 and named him a move after June 1 that will save them $10 million from their salary cap.
The Cowboys had trade talks with NFL scouting teams and had given Collins’ agents Deryk Gilmore and Peter Schaffer the opportunity to seek a trade. The New England Patriots had an interest, just like they did for Amari Cooper, sources told ESPN’s Todd Archer, but Collins’ contract was a problem.
Collins signed a five-year, $50 million contract extension in 2019 that brought guaranteed money until this season. However, a five-game suspension last year for violating the NFL’s drug policy voided the $6.48 million in guarantees.
Over the past two seasons, Collins has missed 21 of 33 games due to injury or suspension. He hasn’t played in 2020 due to hip surgery and has started 10 of the 12 games he has played in 2022.
Collins signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent after circumstances saw him go from a potential first-round selection to not being selected at all after his name was linked to a murder investigation. . The Cowboys signed him after a dinner at Jerry Jones’ house where he was joined by coaches and future teammates.
He started his career at left guard but missed 13 games in 2016 with a toe injury that required surgery. In 2017, Collins moved to right tackle and started 47 of the next 48 games. He had his best season in 2019, but the hip injury has hampered his productivity since.