Report: Rams almost took La’el Collins in seventh round

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When the draft came to an end, Rams coach Jeff Fisher cited the “extraordinary circumstances” surrounding tackle La’el Collins as the reason why it was never an option for the team to use one of their nine picks on the highly regarded prospect.

According to Collins’s agents, that’s not exactly the case. Agent Mike McCartney said that he’s never been more anxious during a draft than he was in the seventh round this year as they waited to see if someone would take Collins despite the threat to sit out the 2015 season in hopes of re-entering the draft the next year. His partner Rick Smith told Robert Klemko of TheMMQB.com that one team that said they were ready to take the plunge in the final round.

“There was a team that had drafted four offensive linemen and they said, ‘We’re taking him.’ And I texted back, ‘You’re going to embarrass yourself. You’re going to waste this pick.’ And they passed. And now he’s a UDFA,” Smith said.

The Rams were the only team to draft four offensive linemen during this year’s draft, all of them before the start of the seventh round, which doesn’t leave much guesswork about who was on the other side of the message. As it turns out, the Rams or anyone else who drafted Collins wouldn’t have had to deal with any embarrassment associated with wasting the pick.

“We can put it on the record now: We were never going back in the draft,” Smith said. “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.”

Collins wasn’t drafted and the Cowboys signed him a few days later in a move that may leave a lot of other teams wishing they’d played things differently in spite of the extraordinary circumstances of the situation.

43 responses to “Report: Rams almost took La’el Collins in seventh round

  1. After sleeping on his meeting with Dallas, La’el Collins told his family “There’s no other place I need to be. I believe that in my heart.”

  2. The rationale of he won’t be drafted because of possible involvement, but once he’s an undrafted free agent we’ll all scramble to sign him makes no sense at all.

  3. Yeah, so the guy goes to Dallas where they have the best line in the league. Collins basically told the league ‘I want to go somewhere I won’t actually have to play and I get paid for it’…In St. Louis, they were obviously looking for a lot of linemen. The guy could have started right away. Guess the game isn’t that important to this guy.

  4. the whole situation was bizarre… I’m really surprised nobody called his bluff in the 7th round. At the very least nobody else would have gotten him this year (without trading compensation to you).

  5. “the whole situation was bizarre… I’m really surprised nobody called his bluff …”

    Because there was collusion.

  6. floratiotime, remember though it’s not collusion if you sign a CBA stating that it is not collusion.

    This kid got royally screwed out of millions by the Baton Rouge police department. There is something to be said for this being a murder investigation, but because of the special circumstances around La’el, it should have been handled more delicately. If the PD would have cost a business man a deal worth 8 million because of their indiscretion, they would be sued out the ass.

  7. drsummeroff says:
    May 15, 2015 9:41 AM

    Yeah, so the guy goes to Dallas where they have the best line in the league. Collins basically told the league ‘I want to go somewhere I won’t actually have to play and I get paid for it’…In St. Louis, they were obviously looking for a lot of linemen. The guy could have started right away. Guess the game isn’t that important to this guy.
    ________________________________

    Except that, barring injury, he probably starts in Dallas by the end of the year. Most likely, LG.

  8. No one called their bluff. hehe.

    Worked out great for Dallas, much to the chagrin Dallas haters everywhere, and every fan of every team with a bottom third o-line.
    Just to put it in perspective, Jeremy Parnell (Dallas’ swing tackle in ’14)signed a 5 year deal with Jacksonville worth 6.5m/yr. and Dallas in effect, replaced him with one of the top o-line prospects in the ’15 draft for UFDA price. I can see where that might hurt a little. 🙂

  9. I find the story hard to believe. What would be the embarrassment? It was a 7th round pick. Most don’t work out anyway so you take chances with them and hope you hit the lottery. If he goes back in the draft who cares…it was a 7th round pick. I doubt Fisher would’ve been scared off by that threat.

  10. The only thing embarrassing would have been if Collins was involved in murdering someone and the Rams still picked him. Seems like an odd comment to make.

  11. drsummeroff says:
    May 15, 2015 9:41 AM

    Yeah, so the guy goes to Dallas where they have the best line in the league. Collins basically told the league ‘I want to go somewhere I won’t actually have to play and I get paid for it’…In St. Louis, they were obviously looking for a lot of linemen. The guy could have started right away. Guess the game isn’t that important to this guy.
    ————————————————————–
    This is what I mean, casting aspersions on the kid because fanboi doesn’t like it. He may actually play this year if he can beat out Leary. Leary graded out at around +6.5 from PFF if I remember right so it won’t be easy. The thing this guy misses is during Collins’ pubic statements immediately after signing, he was almost exclusively using the ‘We’ term, referring to the o-line. Not only does he want to be a part of it, he already thinks in terms of ‘greatest of all time’. At the risk of being redundant, it’s got to hurt.

  12. It was a better deal for La’el Collins to NOT get drafted and He got to decide where he wanted to sign. But it makes no sense that NO TEAM (including my Saints) didn’t pick this guy up in the 7th. A former GM, now host on a radio show said that he would have taken him in the 7th and pointed out why:
    1. You own his rights and you used a late pick to secure it because most 7th rounders don’t make teams.
    2. You take your time in signing him to see where the police questioning goes.
    You can justify it in the press by pointing out that Collins was NOT ACCUSED OF ANYTHING. Collins was NOT alleged to have any involvement nor was he ever referred to as a “person of interest.”

  13. Obviously some of you can’t read. The embarrassment would be if they drafted a murderer. Collins didn’t me with police untill after the draft. This info is not coming from the Rams. It’s coming from another team. Another yeams has no reason to lie about the Rams drafting Collins.

  14. All I learned from this article was not to trust or deal with yet another agent. Why do these guys talk? They think they’re smarter than everyone else and want to brag. But what they’re really doing is making teams not want to deal with them or their clients.

  15. Risk of sitting out the year or not, a team should have drafted Collins in the 7th round.

    Even if he decided he didn’t want to play for that team, the chances are that they could have traded his rights for at least a 2016 4th round pick once cleared.

  16. drsummeroff says:
    May 15, 2015 9:41 AM

    Yeah, so the guy goes to Dallas where they have the best line in the league. Collins basically told the league ‘I want to go somewhere I won’t actually have to play and I get paid for it’…In St. Louis, they were obviously looking for a lot of linemen. The guy could have started right away. Guess the game isn’t that important to this guy.

    ——————————————–

    Wow, to quote South Park: “Why are you being jelly?”

    Here are the reasons Collins signed with Dallas:
    1) Playing on a talented OL makes an individual OLman look better. Collins will seemingly grade better by being in Dallas.
    2) Collins now gets to move to OG, where he projects best, and with his “honor” intact. It won’t go on the record that Dallas didn’t think Collins wasn’t good enough, but rather that they already had an all-world talent at LT. Also, should he move on to another team in a few years when he hits FA, he might get paid OT money (and might even get moved to OT) without having played the position yet, as he wouldn’t have failed at the position at that point.
    3) Assuming the OL in Dallas gels as the team hopes, Jerry Jones will certainly want to keep the unit together. He also has a history of paying his retained talent quite well. So Collins should get a good offer to stay, and if it isn’t good enough, he could be set for a monster deal elsewhere.
    4) Collins was limited in how much he could get paid in his UFA deal. Texas won’t tax that salary, so this actually allowed him to maximize his earnings while he’s on this initial contract.

    Get paid more money, play your best position, be part of a great unit in order to make yourself look as good as possible, and let’s not forget maximum national exposure. Truth be told, why WOULDN’T he have signed with Dallas?

  17. I think that Collins’ agent should just keep his mouth closed.

    His threat that Collins would sit out the year didn’t prevent teams from drafting him.

    I genuinely believe that all teams felt bad for the kid, and if – as he was – proven innocent, then he deserved to have the next best thing to being drafted high – choice.

    It also doesn’t hurt that Collins gets to negotiate his second contract a year earlier than any drafted player (who isn’t cut by his team).

    This agent is just trying to appear smart, and there will undoubtedly be a few others in next years draft who will claim that their representative will sit out if not drafted higher than a certain point – copycat league and all that.

  18. Seriously, this system is flawed. If I was a really late round talent… I would do the same thing and then sign with theTeam I wanted in the City I wanted to be. This takes some of the parity out of the League. Also, 6th & 7th round money is not that different than UDFA.

    The Agent was involved in collusion by making that statement. I have no beef with Collins or the Cowboys, but any team that Drafted him would have looked real bad. This is not a fair practice and as @blowfishes says above. Get use to this a common practice going forward. It is a copycat league. Teams like Dallas and Miami with less Taxes have an advantage too.

  19. Rams should have taken him.

    Everyone talks about Bradford always being hurt. But the truth is that any QB would be getting hurt because the Rams offensive line has been one of the worse for years.

    Adding Collins would have been another upgrade to that line.

    If the Rams upgrading their O-line, they’d be close to being on par with the Seahawks.

  20. And yet, they couldn’t get him in free agency.

    This shows you how worthless Jeff Fisher is as the final say guy in St. Louis.

    This team has been so unimpressive this offseason, it won’t surprise me if they have the #1 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

  21. I still think the NFL put out the word to all teams not to draft him (just like they put out the word last year that someone had to draft Sam). No way at least 1 out of 32 teams would have taken a shot at him in the 6th or 7th round.

  22. Seriously PISSED my GMEN didn’t take a 7th round flier on this guy!!!

    I smelled BS a mile away when they said he would sit out a year!!!!

    Smdh…..

  23. Collins could be sitting in jail awaiting trial on murder by training camp. There are no winners and losers yet. Maybe the Rams are smart for not drafting him and Dallas is dumb for signing him. Time will tell, but I find it disturbing how fans are wishing a guy who may well have killed a woman is not on their team. I guess it is the same mentality that AP fans have.

  24. This article to me screams collusion but because of his agent and the comments he made there won’t be anything done about it. Every GM in the league saw this guy’s skills going into the draft as a first round talent. The police repeatedly said he was not a suspect, all they said they wanted to do is to talk to him. Randy Gregory popped positive for smoking weed at the biggest job interview of his life and he still went in the 2ND round

  25. shlort says:
    May 15, 2015 12:58 PM
    Collins could be sitting in jail awaiting trial on murder by training camp. There are no winners and losers yet. Maybe the Rams are smart for not drafting him and Dallas is dumb for signing him. Time will tell, but I find it disturbing how fans are wishing a guy who may well have killed a woman is not on their team. I guess it is the same mentality that AP fans have.

    ——————-

    First innocent to proven guilty and he also isn’t even a suspect. I feel it disturbing this young man had to lose out on what should have been a the highlight of his life for something he wasn’t even really a suspect in. I guess that is the mob mentality gets us these days.

  26. I don’t know anything about the who’s who in the agent business. But it seemed from the start this guy got bad career advice. Should have got himself cleared asap if he truly had no involvement.

  27. kh221: “The rationale of he won’t be drafted because of possible involvement, but once he’s an undrafted free agent we’ll all scramble to sign him makes no sense at all.”
    __________________________________
    Ordinarily, it’s the human sheep who behave like lemmings. This time, it was the wolves. Sad, sorry way for predators to behave. Every last one of them should hand in their Alpha cards.

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