La’el Collins

Jets Audition T La’el Collins; Giants Book Meeting

The Jets have their original starting left tackle and a guard-turned-right tackle on IR. Alijah Vera-Tucker‘s latest season-ending injury will lead to the team exploring the top option available.

La’el Collins worked out for the Jets on Tuesday,’s Ian Rapoport tweets. The Bengals released Collins from their reserve/PUP list nearly a month ago. While the veteran suffered ACL and MCL tears in late December last year, he passed a physical in late September. A number of teams have expressed interest.

With the Jets’ tackle positions being a problem for months now, they made sense as a team that would look into Collins. The Jets have moved Mekhi Becton back to left tackle, though the former first-round pick spent time on the sidelines in Week 5 due to an injury. Duane Brown is on IR due to a hip malady; this comes after the former Pro Bowler spent the offseason recovering from rotator cuff surgery.

Multiple visits were always likely for Collins, who plays a premium position and is going into his age-30 season. The Giants will also meet with the eight-year veteran,’s Mike Garafolo tweets. In worse shape compared to the Jets up front, the Giants have played without starter Andrew Thomas for the past four games. Thomas sustained a setback in his return from a hamstring injury, and the All-Pro’s absence as wreaked havoc for the Giants, who are dealing with injuries on the interior as well.

Collins has made 86 career starts; 15 of those came for the Bengals last season. Given a three-year, $21MM contract following his Cowboys release, Collins went down in Week 16 last season. The Bengals, who subsequently lost two other O-line starters before their shorthanded playoff games in Buffalo and Kansas City, moved to replace Collins by signing Orlando Brown Jr. to play left tackle and sliding Jonah Williams to the right side. After shifting Collins from the active/PUP list to the reserve/PUP list, the Bengals cut him.

The Bengals were not thrilled with Collins’ pre-injury work last year, but the former first-round talent-turned-UDFA secured two extensions with the Cowboys and operated as their right tackle from 2017-19 and again in 2021 (Collins missed all of 2020 due to injury). The Jets and Giants are also in need, with other teams likely monitoring the experienced blocker as well.

The Giants have not seen Evan Neal develop into a quality starter on the right side yet, and the team has seen center John Michael Schmitz and guard Shane Lemieux go down — both on a failed “Tush Push” attempt in Week 4. The Jets have Max Mitchell and Billy Turner in place as right tackle insurance. One of them will need to start in place of Vera-Tucker, whom the team had moved from right guard once again, after his Achilles tear. Vera-Tucker suffered a season-ending injury in Denver for the second straight year.

La’el Collins Passes Physical; Several Teams Monitoring Free Agent T

SEPTEMBER 27: The veteran starter is likely to have another opportunity in the near future. Around 12 teams have reached out to the high-profile free agent, Jeremy Fowler of notes, adding that free agency visits should be expected to follow. Collins collected $2.1MM in Bengals injury guarantees in 2023; it will be interesting to see which teams summon him for meetings.

SEPTEMBER 25: La’el Collins has gone from two-time Cowboys extension recipient to Bengals right tackle starter to free agency, becoming unattached after Cincinnati released him from its reserve/PUP list two weeks ago. But it should be expected the seasoned starter finds a new home soon.

ACL and MCL tears ended Collins’ 2022 season on Christmas Eve, and although he was not expected to begin the season on the Bengals’ active roster, the AFC North club made the surprising decision to axe him from the PUP list. While Collins’ readiness level was not known when the Bengals cut him,’s Adam Schefter reports he has since passed a physical.

Monday marks almost exactly nine months since Collins suffered his ligament tears, which would put him on a smooth track back to action. It would seemingly take the eight-year veteran more time to move back into game form, but Monday’s development should be of interest to teams in need to tackle help. Considering the injuries that pile up at this position annually, Collins could be an interesting piece to help a team in the near future or as a second-half hired gun.

The Bengals gave Collins a three-year, $21MM deal shortly after the Cowboys released him with in March 2022. Collins, 30, brought great value to Dallas, arriving as a first-round-level talent who fell out of the draft due to off-field matters. After a seven-year run as a Cowboys starter, Collins started all 15 games he played as a Bengal. The Bengals lost Collins, fellow 2022 signee Alex Cappa and veteran tackle Jonah Williams to injuries down the stretch, making a key impact on their push to defend their AFC title. This offseason, Cincy changed its tackle plans by signing Orlando Brown Jr. and moving Williams to the right side. That left Collins without a starting job, and the team was not particularly pleased with his pre-injury work.

Collins only has experience at right tackle, moving there from guard in 2017. But he would stand to be an upgrade for some teams at that post. The Patriots are playing without Riley Reiff, Collins’ Cincinnati RT predecessor, while the Jets chose to move Mekhi Becton back to left tackle (and Alijah Vera-Tucker to his emergency RT spot) after Duane Brown‘s injury. (The Patriots are believed to have Collins on their radar.) The Browns lost starter Jack Conklin for the season, while the Seahawks and Texans have their respective starters (Abraham Lucas, Tytus Howard) on IR. The Lions are down multiple tackles, with a potential season-ending Matt Nelson injury coming during Taylor Decker‘s second straight missed game.

Should Collins be ready to return to game action soon, he would represent an experienced option as contenders assemble their stretch-run rosters. While the LSU alum may be on the backend of his career, he has started 86 career games and worked as the primary right tackle for three playoff teams.

Bengals Release La’el Collins From PUP List; Patriots Have Inquired About T

SEPTEMBER 13: Collins’ health will no doubt influence his free agent prospects to a great extent. On that point, Sportskeeda’s Tony Pauline reports he should be available to suit up in either late October or November. The timing of when Collins does find a home could lead to an injury grievance being filed against the Bengals, he adds.

Notably, Pauline names the Patriots as a team which has inquired about Collins, though New England will surely have competition to add the veteran as at least a depth option up front. All five starting members of the Patriots’ O-line are included on the Week 2 injury report, and tackle was a position facing question marks at the start of the season. As Collins moves closer to full health over time, it will be interesting to see how much of a market he develops for himself.

SEPTEMBER 12: The Bengals will cut bait on La’el Collins, who had remained on their PUP list to start the season. Collins is back in free agency, Field Yates of tweets.

Signed to a three-year deal in 2022, Collins suffered ACL and MCL tears in late December last year. Those injuries were expected to sideline him to start the season. The longtime Cowboys starter will have a chance at a fresh start now. The Bengals will save more than $7MM in cap space by making this move.

Cincinnati’s Orlando Brown Jr. signing rearranged its tackle corps, sliding three-year starter Jonah Williams to the right side. After a trade request, Williams remained in the fold and opened the season at right tackle. Jackson Carman, who lost the RT position battle with Williams early in training camp, is in place as the team’s swing tackle. This left Collins without a clear role. While teams frequently prioritize O-linemen, a veteran starter is now available. Though, there is the matter of Collins returning from his knee injuries.

Given a three-year, $21MM deal following a Cowboys release, Collins started 15 games for the Bengals last season. A steady run of O-line injuries affected the Bengals significantly in a narrow AFC championship game loss to the Chiefs, which featured three starters — Collins, Williams, guard Alex Cappa — out of commission. Williams and Cappa returned this offseason, but Williams’ injuries were more severe. This will undoubtedly affect his earning potential as a second-time free agent.

Collins, 30, has 86 starts on his resume. While several of those came at guard to start his career, the former LSU standout ended up at right tackle early in his NFL run. The Cowboys gave Collins two extensions, the second a five-year deal worth $50MM, but released him in 2022.

This Bengals transaction should generate some interest from tackle-needy teams, but it remains to be seen how healthy Collins is. Had Collins entered the offseason healthy, he would have resided as a trade candidate for the Bengals, who were not pleased with his work last season. They were not interested in trying Collins at guard following the Brown addition, either. But they moved on early, incurring only a $1.7MM dead-money hit to do so. The Bengals also roster D’Ante Smith, a 2021 fourth-round pick, as a backup tackle option.

Bengals Reduce Roster To 53, Place T La’el Collins On Reserve/PUP List

The Bengals have worked their way down to the 53-man roster limit. Here are the moves made on Tuesday to finalize their initial squad:



Placed on reserve/PUP list:

Placed on IR:

Collins will miss at least the first four weeks of the season given his PUP designation. The former Cowboy signed a three-year, $21MM deal in free agency last offseason to operate as Cincinnati’s right tackle starter. His play in his debut season was underwhelming, however, and that role will belong to Jonah Williams this season, unless the latter misses time or Collins usurps him on the depth chart. A knee injury is to blame for Collins’ missed time, per the team.

Both Pesefea and Tell will miss the entire season, as is the case for all players placed on IR before being named to the initial 53-man roster. They will either remain with the organization during the campaign, or be released via an injury settlement which would allow them to find a new opportunity elsewhere.

Jones represents a more experienced cut than most of the other players let go. The former second-rounder has 57 games and 27 starts to his name, and he split his time between the Seahawks and Raiders last season. Moving on from Jones further signals the team’s intention of relying on younger options like Cam Taylor-Britt and rookies DJ Turner and DJ Ivey in the secondary.

Losing Adeniji (unless he clears waivers and is retained via the practice squad, as will no doubt be the case for many of the players listed above) would leave the Bengals thin along the O-line, especially in light of the Collins news. The 2020 sixth-rounder has experience at multiple positions up front, but his level of play has been a contributing factor in the team’s urgency in pursuing free agent blockers in recent years.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/23/23

Here are today’s minor moves heading into the week:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Ravens fans can breathe a sigh of relief now that Bateman is set to return for camp. Bateman missed most of the team’s spring activities after receiving a cortisone shot in hopes it would help him get back in time for camp. It was slightly concerning that he didn’t initially report with the rest of the team, but general manager Eric DeCosta had reassured the media that Bateman was expected back soon. Two days later and Bateman should be in attendance for camp to start this week.

Claypool has been dealing with a soft tissue injury from earlier in the offseason. He was expected back in time for camp but clearly will have to wait a bit to rejoin the team.

With the departure of Eli Apple in free agency, Awuzie is expected to take a step up in the Bengals’ defense this year. Cincinnati will hope to get him back and working with the first-team secondary again soon. The absences of Cochran and Collins leave the team a little thin on tackle depth, but the starters remain available as Jonah Williams avoids any injury designations.

Detroit will have Jameson Williams available for training camp but not for the start of the season. The Lions will be hoping to get the opposite result for Jones, who will be unavailable to start camp.

Bengals Likely To Start RT La’el Collins On PUP List?

The right tackle spot will be one to monitor closely in Cincinnati during training camp, since that is the likeliest landing spot for former blindside protector Jonah Williams. Another option at the position may not be available to the Bengals by the start of the season.

La’el Collins is a strong candidate to be placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list in advance of the regular season, writes The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. (subscription required). That designation would keep him sidelined for at least six weeks, so the team will no doubt remain patient in their evaluation of the veteran tackle before deciding how to proceed with him.

Collins continues to rehab the torn ACL and MCL he suffered in December, injuries which added to his missed games over the course of his career and cut short his debut Bengals season. The 29-year-old spent his first seven years (six seasons) with the Cowboys, manning the RT spot during most of that time. His release from Dallas cleared the way for a three-year, $21MM pact in Cincinnati as part of the team’s rebuilding effort up front.

The former UDFA started all 15 games he played in last season, but he drew the second-worst overall PFF grade (57.9) of his career in the process. The Bengals were likewise unimpressed with Collins’ performance, something which likely played a small part in their decision to retain Williams in the aftermath of his trade request. The latter is now set to try his hand at a switch to right tackle, where his primary competition for a starting spot will be Jackson Carman.

Collins, when healthy, is thus likely suited for a backup role at the tackle spot. He has experience playing on the inside, but a unit involving he, Williams and free agent left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. on the field together is not under consideration. All attention will be on Collins’ level of progress in his recovery over the next few weeks, followed by his role during the campaign upon returning to full health and the team’s active roster.

Bengals Not Planning To Try La’el Collins At Guard

With Orlando Brown Jr. now locked in at left tackle, a Bengals team that saw offensive line injuries sink its effort to book back-to-back Super Bowl berths is suddenly deep on the right side. Displaced blindside bastion Jonah Williams joins La’el Collins and Jackson Carman in a right tackle battle that is sure to garner attention from other teams.

Although Williams looks to have backed off his trade request, a trade involving one of the competitors could conceivably be in play. But the Bengals are not planning to try a potential “best five” scenario up front. A lineup in which Brown, Williams and Collins play together — with Collins sliding to guard — could be logical, as Collins has guard experience. But that is not expected to be a path the team considers, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic notes (subscription required).

The Bengals return Alex Cappa at right guard and are not entertaining a potential demotion of Cordell Volson at left guard, Dehner adds, noting the team views the 2022 fourth-round pick as an ascending player. Brown is placing a priority on forming a rapport with Volson on the left side, and the latter was one of just two Cincinnati O-line starters — joining center Ted Karras — to remain on the field when the season ended in Kansas City.

Collins has a past at guard, coming into the NFL at the position. Falling out of the draft due to an off-field issue in 2015, Collins made his way into the Cowboys’ starting lineup at left guard during his rookie season. Dallas then began the 2016 campaign with the overqualified UDFA opposite Zack Martin. But a toe injury shut down Collins three games into the 2016 slate. That malady ended his guard run; the Cowboys moved the LSU product to right tackle in 2017. Collins stayed at that position in Dallas through the 2021 season, signing two extensions with the team. Following a 2022 release, Collins signed a three-year, $21MM Bengals deal.

This contract carries a $9.4MM 2023 cap number, and the Bengals can move on — via trade or release — for less than $2MM in dead money. The team was not thrilled with Collins’ debut, helping lead to the Brown pursuit, but the veteran has made 86 career starts. Collins, 30 in July, would seemingly be of interest to a tackle-needy team, should his recovery from December ACL and MCL tears go according to plan. Carman’s contract runs through 2024, making him a more cost-efficient backup to Williams. A 2021 second-rounder whom Volson beat out for the left guard gig, Carman finished last season as Williams’ replacement at left tackle.

Volson’s rookie deal runs through 2025, and he stands to make a logical left-sider next to Brown, who is tied to the most lucrative O-line accord in Bengals history. Pro Football Focus graded Volson outside the top 60 at guard last season, leaving some work ahead for the North Dakota State alum. But he remains the unquestioned Bengals starter at left guard, with Collins only a potential option in the event of an injury.

Latest On Bengals RT La’el Collins

The left tackle position has been a key talking point in Cincinnati this offseason with the signing of Orlando Brown Jr. leaving Jonah Williams‘ future in question. The team’s 2022 starter on the other side of the line provided an encouraging update on his status heading into next season.

Right tackle La’el Collins is in the process of rehabbing his left knee after suffering ACL and MCL tears in Week 16. That injury put an end to his debut Bengals campaign, and left him facing a lengthy recovery process. His remarks on the matter point to a return to full health, albeit at an unknown point in the 2023 season.

“I can’t give you a timetable,” Collins said, via ESPN’s Ben Baby“I’m not the guy that makes the ultimate decision. But at the end of the day, I feel like if I had to play today, I could put a brace on it and I could go to work. I know my knee is locked in and stable… I feel great.”

The 29-year-old signed in Cincinnati on a three-year, $21MM deal as part of the team’s continuing effort to improve their offensive front. Collins joined the Bengals with high expectations given his level of play with the Cowboys, but he was unable to deliver on them. The former UDFA was strong in run blocking but struggled considerably in pass protection, leaving him ranked 68th out of 81 qualifying tackles, per PFF.

The Bengals have continued to be aggressive in their pursuit of upgrading the offensive line, inking Brown to a four-year, $64MM contract to take over as their starting left tackle. In response, Williams requested a trade, but if the team elects to keep him in the fold, the former first-rounder could see himself in a training camp competition for the starting RT spot. Collins could be central to that, if his recovery continues on its current path.

“With everything we have moving forward right now with the rehab and everything, too, I know I’m going to go into this season a whole lot healthier than I was last year,” he said. “I think it’s going to be night and day.”

Jonah Williams Trade Market Limited; Bengals T Blindsided By Brown Signing

Jonah Williams requested a trade out of Cincinnati shortly after the team gave Orlando Brown a four-year, $64MM contract. While many around the league view Brown’s best position as right tackle, the Bengals are accommodating the former Ravens and Chiefs blocker’s wish to play on the left side.

When the Bengals signed Brown, Williams learned about it like the rest of the football world did. The three-year Cincinnati left tackle starter was “blindsided” by the move, Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. The Bengals have talked about wanting Williams at right tackle, but Conway adds they did not communicate those plans to the former first-round pick ahead of time.

It is not exactly uncommon for teams to move forward with big-picture plans without informing players those strategies will affect, though franchises have made a habit of alerting quarterbacks to future additions at the position in recent years. The Bengals, however, did not expect to land Brown. The Pro Bowl tackle’s reps contacted the team, according to Bengals director of pro scouting Steven Radicevic (via The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr.).

Nearly three days after the legal tampering period gave agents permission to negotiate with teams, Brown remained unsigned. The Bengals entered free agency wanting to re-sign Vonn Bell, Germaine Pratt, Hayden Hurst and Samaje Perine, Dehner adds, noting the team viewed Jessie Bates as out of its price range. Bates signed a four-year, $64MM Falcons deal on the tampering period’s first day. Bell’s age prompted the Bengals to set a firm ceiling on his negotiations, leading the eighth-year safety to the Panthers, who later signed Hurst to what turned out to be this year’s top tight end deal. Perine defected to the Broncos for terms nearly identical to what the Bengals offered.

Brown’s camp showed interest in the Bengals on March 14; the sides agreed to terms March 15. Seeking a job on another contender, Brown said Joe Burrow‘s presence attracted him to Cincinnati; the Bengals will give him $42.4MM in the deal’s first two years. The upfront cash sealed the deal, per Dehner. The Bengals were looking at free agent tackles, Dehner adds, but initially eyeing lower-priced options. One of those coming to Cincinnati may not have led to Williams being moved off his starting spot without competition, but Brown’s pedigree will. As a result, Williams wants out.

Zac Taylor said this week he expects Williams to be back and partake in a competition at right tackle, a position the former has not played since his freshman season at Alabama. Going into a contract year, Williams wants to stay at his position.

We want guys that are willing to do to help us win games,” Taylor said, via Conway. “And I understand there’s comfort levels playing certain sides. Trust me, I played quarterback so I’m not going to sit there and pretend that I’ve got experience moving from right guard to left guard. I know that there’s some reps that need to take place to feel completely comfortable with that, but most of these guys have done it at some point in their career. So they’ve at least got experience doing it and that’s just the way it will go for us.”

Williams’ 6-foot-4, 305-pound frame was a factor in the team prioritizing the 6-8, 340-pound Brown, Conway adds, and Dehner notes Collins’ injury issues — which also included a back problem that prevented the ex-Cowboys standout from practicing on Wednesdays last season — and struggles in pass protection led to the Bengals pursuing tackles. Bengals O-line coach Frank Pollack has said the plan is for Collins to compete for the job, and Taylor alluded to former second-round pick Jackson Carman — a converted guard the team moved to tackle to replace Williams during the playoffs — being part of it as well.

Although an early report surfaced indicating Williams was generating interest from several teams,’s Armando Salguero notes no team has proven willing to send the Bengals a high draft choice for their hopeful right tackle. Williams is due $12.6MM on his fifth-year option this season. Teams like the Colts, Jets and Buccaneers would make sense as Williams destinations, but as of now, he is ticketed for what would be an unusual position battle with Collins, whom the Bengals gave a three-year, $21MM deal in 2022, and potentially Carman.

Both Williams and Collins are coming off season-ending knee injuries; Williams suffered a dislocated kneecap and Collins ACL and MCL tears. These maladies played a major role in the Chiefs prevailing in the teams’ AFC championship game rematch despite a gimpy Patrick Mahomes. Brown switching sides in this rivalry may lead to another falling domino, but as of now, no Williams trade is imminent.