Bengals To Sign La’el Collins

Cincinnati’s effort to re-make their offensive line isn’t finished yet. According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the team is “finalizing an agreement” with tackle La’el Collins (Twitter link). Jeff Howe and Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic report that the contract is a three-year deal.

Collins was scheduled for another free agent visit elsewhere, Garafolo notes, but the Bengals are getting him signed before he could leave their building. The former Cowboy is set to become the third starting-caliber addition to their offensive line, as Cincinnati has already brought in Ted Karras and Alex Cappa.

The 28-year-old was released by Dallas last week, as they undergo some noteworthy changes to their own o-line. Not long after learning he would need to find a new NFL home for the first time in his six-year career, Collins met with the Bengals. While they didn’t immediately come to a new deal – leaving the Dolphins potentially in the mix to add him – they seem to have done so now.

A former UDFA, Collins began his time in Dallas as a guard, but is most well-known as the team’s starting right tackle. He saw steady improvement during his time as a Cowboy, earning higher PFF grades with each passing season. In 2021, he continued that trend by registering a mark of 82, despite having not played the previous campaign.

With Collins in the fold, the Bengals have continued to bolster the unit charged with protecting quarterback Joe Burrow. After ranking among the worst teams in terms of sacks allowed – and seeing each of Burrow’s two seasons in the league end with serious knee injuries – the Bengals made it clear they were going to be aggressive in pursuing upgrades. That has certainly been the case so far.

Collins will likely man his familiar right tackle spot, creating a bookend with former first-rounder Jonah Williams. Those two, along with Karras and Cappa, should represent a marked improvement in what was seen as the teams’ weakest position group. The news could send 2020 sixth round pick Hakeem Adeniji inside to guard, or leave him as depth at the RT spot.

View Comments (40)