La’el Collins’ whirlwind week of intrigue and investigation is over.
One week after the former LSU lineman was bypassed in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft due to a murder investigation of his pregnant former girlfriend, Collins signed with the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday. Collins had been expected to be a top-15 draft pick.
A dominant offensive tackle at LSU who can also play guard, Collins stood to make a total contract of approximately $9.5 million over five years had he actually gone in the top 15 selections.
But a story broke April 28, two days before the draft, that Baton Rouge Police wanted to interview Collins as part of its investigation into the shooting death of Brittney Mills because police believed he was romantically involved with the victim. Collins didn’t talk to police until after the draft. Authorities never labeled him as a suspect or a person of interest.
Mills died April 24 from gunshot wounds to her midsection suffered at her apartment. Doctors at Baton Rouge General Hospital delivered her baby son that night, shortly after Mills had passed away. The baby, Brenton Dalon Mills, died May 1.
Collins finally spoke with Baton Rouge Police on Monday and remained a non-suspect and not a person of interest. Baton Rouge Police confirmed Wednesday that a paternity test proved he was not the baby’s father. A positive result could have been viewed as establishing motive.
“His situation ended up being a lot clearer this week than it was last week,” Bryan Broaddus of DallasCowboys.com told Gannett Louisiana. “During the draft, teams just didn’t know. There was so much unknown then. That was the problem. It’s clearing up now.”
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SOURCE: USA Today, Glenn Guilbeau