The NFL and the Cowboys have announced that Cowboys tackle La'el Collins has been suspended five games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Peter Schaffer, an NFL agent who was hired to handle the appeal, insists that the appeal process isn’t final and should not have been disclosed.
“We are extremely disappointed in how the NFL has handled this entire matter from trampling on Mr. Collins rights to prematurely releasing the information knowing a timely appeal was filed to intentionally misleading the court at the hearing,” Schaffer said in a statement. “The extent and effort the NFL went to to accomplish its ends is appalling.”
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media has said that it’s his understanding that Collins was suspended for missing drug tests. “Essentially, failure to appear,” Rapoport tweeted.
However, the policy does not permit a suspension for mere “failure to appear.” The language adopted in 2020 allows a suspension only for a fourth or subsequent instance of “failure to cooperate with testing or clinical care.”
An arbitrator has ruled against Collins, but Schaffer has filed another appeal. Based on Schaffer’s statement, it appears that Collins among other things takes issue regarding the manner in which the league presented the evidence.
Thus, even though the NFL apparently considers the matter to be over, it isn’t.