A wild weekend in the world of the Cincinnati Bengals offensive line has come to a close, bringing the result fans wanted. Former Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle La’el Collins is the latest addition to the Bengals’ offensive line makeover.
After a weekend of rumors surrounding alleged failed physicals, contract structure issues and sightings at local establishments seeming to refute reports that Collins ever left town, news broke of the signing Sunday afternoon.
As expected, the Bengals weren’t the only team in the market for Collins’ services, as we learned after the signing was announced. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers made an effort to land the 28-year-old tackle.
#Patriots made a competitive offer for La’el Collins and the Panthers were in the thick of it, too, I’m told. But he’s headed to Cincinnati, per @AdamSchefter. Bengals had inside track and held onto it.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 20, 2022
Ultimately, Cincinnati didn’t let Collins leave town before locking him down with a three-year contract. The reports of the visits ending went back and forth, leaving all of us questioning where things stood, but this should help clear it up - he is in Cincinnati.
So he was at Kenwood buying a new suit? https://t.co/naIBGjM2va— Drew Garrison (@DrewGarrison) March 20, 2022
And based on the early reporting, it looks like the Bengals’ contract for Collins is an absolute steal.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Collins’ deal is essentially for just $20 million over two years for a guy who finished last season with an outstanding 82.0 Pro Football Focus grade.
As one source explains it, it’s a “different sort of deal,” and it’s essentially worth $20 million over two years.
Getting one of the best right tackles in football to a two-year deal worth just $20 million is a huge steal if that’s what it turns out to be, and one the Bengals front office should be commended for.
After all, Collins is still in the prime of his career and won’t turn 30 until July of 2023. Signing tackles like him usually takes more money and years than what the Bengals reportedly got him for.
An exciting day for the fans, the players and the entire organization as we saw the Bengals find their guy, bring him to town and make sure they did what was necessary to protect their franchise quarterback with one of the top offensive tackles on the market.
For what it’s worth, Collins seems to have exactly the right attitude for the job.
Just spoke with La'el Collins who told me the first thing he said to Joe Burrow: "Your new bodyguard is in town, no one's touching you."— Marisa Contipelli (@BengalsMarisa) March 20, 2022
I can’t think of a better quote to begin your tenure as a Bengal. Frank Pollack wants “glass eaters” along the offensive line, and it sounds like he got just that.