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La’el Collins and Bengals contract holdup was ‘all about structure’

The Bengals still managed to close the deal.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports


No worries.

Who Dey!

The Cincinnati Bengals allowed free agent offensive tackle La’el Collins to leave Cincinnati after a visit that spanned multiple days. Many expected the deal to get done, but for now it appears that Collins is weighing his options.

It appears that former Bengals offensive tackle Willie Anderson — who has worked with Collins — has a little bit more of a light to shed on the subject:

NFL contracts are far more complicated than any of them are presented. You often hear about players signing three-year contracts for an amount like $30 million and assume that the player will get paid $10 million a season. The truth is that is rarely ever the case.

Things like the no-trade clauses, guaranteed money, bonuses, and other factors play more of a role than comparing two contracts that would both be reported as the same amount of years.

Collins has some red flags that many Bengals fans have passed over but could be serious concerns for NFL teams. He got surgery on his hip in October of 2020. He was also suspended for by the NFL for allegedly missing a mandatory drug test and trying to bribe the tester.

It wouldn’t be surprising for an NFL team like the Bengals to put some language in their contract to protect themselves from something stemming from those.

Of course, none of us other than those actually negotiating are privy to the actual hurdle holding this deal up. Hopefully, Collins and the Bengals ultimately end up agreeing to terms. It will be interesting to see how the rest of his visits go.