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La’el Collins files suit against NFL to end suspension

The Cowboys surprised with their release of veteran linebacker Jaylon Smith, but Mike Florio sees it as a preemptive move to avoid a potential injury in the future.

Cowboys tackle La’el Collins has missed three games due to a five-game suspension. He’s trying to block the league from suspending him for the final two.

Collins has filed suit in a Texas state court seeking a temporary restraining order, a temporary injunction, and a permanent injunction against ongoing enforcement of the suspension.

The lawsuit focuses on two major arguments. First, Collins claims that the substance abuse policy as revised in 2020 does not permit suspensions for missed tests, and that only fines can be imposed for such infractions. Second, Collins claims that the NFL misrepresented to the arbitrator during the appeal process that Collins already had received a four-game suspension under the substance-abuse policy, and that the arbitrator specifically relied on this fact in upholding the league’s five-game suspension.

Collins submitted an affidavit with the lawsuit insisting he never has been suspended. It’s bizarre that the NFL would make that claim if it’s not true, and it’s odd that the arbitrator would accept that fact as true without confirming it.

It’s unclear why the lawsuit wasn’t filed sooner. Regardless, things will need to move quickly for Collins not to miss the fourth game of the five-game suspension.

Cases like this usually represent uphill climbs. Collins seems to have a compelling argument; obviously, however, the initial paperwork filed in the case reflects only one side of the case.