La’el Collins sues NFL over suspension

Suspended Dallas offensive lineman La’el Collins sued NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Wednesday and is seeking a court order exempting him from the last two games remaining from his five-game suspension for abuse rule violations. of alcohol or drugs.

Collins’ attorneys filed a lawsuit in Collin County, where the team’s offices are located north of Dallas. The lawsuit claims the NFL suspended the player, who is in his seventh year in the NFL, after failing a test, after the 2020 labor agreement no longer allows suspensions for marijuana positives.

According to the lawsuit, the NFL improperly found that Collins had not cooperated with the league, a distinction that allows the suspension to proceed.

The league said the lawsuit is unfounded. It was not immediately clear whether a judge has already been assigned to the case.

“The lawsuit is without merit, as determined by two impartial mediators appointed by the NFL and NFLPA and who reviewed this,” said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. “We will seek to dismiss this case as soon as possible.”

The NFLPA is the league’s players’ union.

Collins’ suspension was announced the day the Cowboys lost 31-29 to Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay in their first game of the season. The remaining two games of the suspension apply Sunday at home to the New York Giants and October 17 in New England.

The lawsuit claims that the NFL misled the mediator by stating that Collins had previously been suspended for four games, which was false. Eventually the NFL decided to fine and not suspend Collins on the failed tests in early 2020.

In November 2020, the league was set to suspend Collins for five games after failing a drug test. The union negotiated a reduction to two parties, but the appeal led to a mediator reinstating the five-match suspension.

Representatives for Collins said the league announced the suspension while another appeal remains pending. The lawsuit claims that the ad violated the confidentiality clause of the agreement between the league and the union on drug abuse policies.

“For Mr. Collins, the case represents the difference between an NFL career and a potential suspension that could ruin his career,” the lawsuit says. “The damage to his person could not be clearer.”

Collins signed in 2015 as an out-of-draft free agent with the Cowboys. The former LSU player was expected to be a top draft pick, but his name was included in the investigation into the death of a woman just before the draft.

Collins, 28, is on his third contract, the most recent being a five-year, $ 50 million extension he signed in 2019.