According to multiple reports, the Dallas Cowboys have signed rookie offensive lineman La’el Collins, a potential first-round draft pick who fell out of the draft entirely after police sought to question him as part of an investigation into a double murder.
Given Collins’s limited options as an undrafted free agent—the NFL puts a hard cap on how much teams can offer undrafted players—he got as good of a deal as he could have hoped for from the Cowboys:
Fully guaranteeing the contract—a perk that most rookies don’t get—was probably the Cowboys’ way of making up for the fact that they weren’t able to give Collins a decent signing bonus due to the NFL’s weird free-agency rules. Still, Collins missed out on a lot of the money that he would have gotten as a first-round draft pick.
As for the Cowboys, they ended up with one of the more talent-heavy draft classes despite having won 12 games last year. They got cornerback Byron Jones with their lone first-round pick, and then nabbed defensive end Randy Gregory, a first-round talent who slid because of mysterious concerns, in the second round. And now they have La’el Collins, one of the top-rated offensive lineman in the draft. Not bad for a team that entered the draft with just one first-round pick.