Allegations surfaced that Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman La’el Collins tried to bribe drug-testing officials before he was suspended five games for violation of the substance-abuse policy.
According to the NFL, the person responsible for collecting the specimens for testing wrote in his notes that in November 2020, Collins asked to meet with him “man to man” and said he felt he was “being tested too much because (they) were seeing each other every day.”
The collector said Collins asked if there was something “we could do” and offered $5,000, and later $10,000, according to the NFL’s filing in response to Collins’ request for an injunction.
Player agent Peter Schaffer, one of Collins’ representatives, strongly denied the allegations of bribery against Collins, who was recovering from hip surgery at the time and didn’t play in 2020.
“He allegedly bribed a collector without giving him any money, to look the other way on a test that was negative?” Schaffer said. “No witnesses, no nothing. He walked in in a T-shirt and shorts on crutches. How can you bribe somebody?”
If Collin’s suspension stands (which the League intends to last for the first four games of 2020 although management council and players’ union agreed to a fine), he will not play against the Giants.
In appealing the suspension, Schaffer called star quarterback Dak Prescott to testify in an attempt to refute the allegation of bribery. Prescott testified to the joking nature of some of the conversations with the test collector, and said he didn’t see Collins carrying $10,000 on the day in question. Schaffer said it was personal attacks on Collins during Friday’s hearing.
Although the League claims Collins has a “long history of discipline for repeated violations” of the substance-abuse policy and that he missed seven drug tests in a five-week period around the time of the alleged bribe in November 2020, Schaffer claims Collins “doesn’t have this great history of missing tests and being a bad person.”
– Ella Breedlove