From going undrafted to being one of the highest-paid players at his position in the NFL.
That’s the uncommon path that former LSU offensive lineman La’el Collins has now traveled after he received a reported 2-year, $15.4 million extension from the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday.
The deal was first reported by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
La'el Collins finally gets paid. He and Cowboys have agreed on a two-year, $15.4m extension thru 2019, source informed of the deal says.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 25, 2017
Collins was scheduled to become a restricted free agent after this coming season, but the Cowboys aren’t letting that happen, paying him an average of $7.7 million over the next two seasons.
According to Garafolo, that’s the second-highest average of any right tackle, the position he’s expected to play this season after the retirement of Doug Free.
The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Baton Rouge native was projected by many to be a first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, but his name surfaced in the murder of a 29-year-old pregnant woman in his hometown.
Although Collins was never deemed a suspect, his representatives told NFL franchises during the last few rounds not to select him in order to give Collins the freedom in free agency to go where he wanted.
That was also done to give Collins the chance to sign a second contract sooner.
It’s a substantial move for the Cowboys, considering Collins is coming off a season in which he only started three games. His second year was cut short by a big toe sprain that got him placed on injured reserve in early October before being re-activated in January.
During his rookie season, he started 11 games and made the highlight reels with this impressive show of power and speed against the Green Bay Packers in Week 14.
Collins, who played four seasons at LSU, was named Second-Team All-America in his senior season while winning the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the top offensive lineman in the SEC.