The Dallas Cowboys couldn’t have started the 2021 season any worse. After losing their first game of the season to the Tampa Bay Bucs thanks to a ton of mistakes, their starting right tackle La’el Collins was suspended five games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Collins’ agent Peter Schaffer criticized the league for how they handled the issue.
“We are extremely disappointed in how the NFL has handled this entire matter from trampling on Mr. Collins’ rights to prematurely releasing the information knowing a timely appeal was filed to intentionally misleading the court at the hearing,” Schaffer said, via Sports Illustrated. “The extent and effort the NFL went to accomplish its ends is appalling.”
Collins’ representatives are fighting the suspension arguing that the discipline should amount to a fine. His suspension will cost Collins roughly $2 million and, per the collective bargaining agreement, voids the injury guarantee worth $6.48 million in his 2022 salary.
Head coach Mike McCarthy said during his news conference Friday that “the timing of it is a bit awkward, but it’s just something I can’t speak of right now.”
Collins is in his sixth season with the Cowboys. He signed with the team in 2015 as an undrafted free agent.