NFC Notes: Collins, J. Smith, Giants, Davis

In a piece for, Robert Klemko details La’el Collins‘ unusual draft journey, from the death of his former romantic partner Brittany Mills to his decision to sign with the Cowboys. Klemko’s story is full of interesting details, including a reveal that, despite telling teams their client would refuse to sign and would re-enter the 2016 draft if he was selected on Day 3, Collins’ agents were probably bluffing.

“We can put it on the record now: We were never going back in the draft,” Rick Smith of Priority Sports said of waiting for the 2016 draft. “If someone had drafted him, we would’ve had a long, long discussion about it, but at the end of the day you can’t go back in the draft. He could get injured, gain weight, or 10 great tackles could come out. Too many risks.”

Smith also revealed that a team – one that had already drafted four offensive lineman – told Collins’ camp it planned to select him in the seventh round, but ultimately decided against it after being informed again by Smith that it would be a waste of a pick. As Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk notes, the only team that drafted four offensive linemen was the Rams.

Here’s more on Collins, along with a few more items from around the NFC:

  • Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link) has the specific details on Collins’ three-year, $1.599MM contract with the Cowboys, which includes a $21K signing bonus.
  • Speaking on Thursday to Pro Football Talk, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said he should have “more of a feel” for defensive end Justin Smith‘s future today, per Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Smith has been mulling either returning for another season or retiring, and is expected to make his decision soon.
  • Jordan Raanan of passes along signing bonus and salary info for the Giants‘ undrafted free agent class. The team’s biggest UDFA investment was Tulane offensive lineman Sean Donnelly, who received $15K in guaranteed salary, along with a $15K signing bonus.
  • Asked again about his contract negotiations with the Panthers, linebacker Thomas Davis referred to those talks as “a work in progress,” though he expressed optimism that “it’ll eventually get done.” Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer has the full quotes and details.
  • Defensive tackle Josh Brent has decided to end his playing career, but that doesn’t mean his ties to the Cowboys will be severed, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, who writes that owner Jerry Jones plans to continue to support Brent in different ways.
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