Suspended Dallas offensive lineman Lyle Collins sued NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday, seeking an injunction to suspend the remaining two games of a five-game ban for drug abuse violations.
Collins’ attorneys filed the lawsuit in Collin County, the site of the team’s headquarters north of Dallas. The suit alleges that the NFL suspended the seventh-year player for missed tests when a work agreement reached in 2020 no longer allowed for suspensions due to missed tests or positive marijuana tests.
According to the lawsuit, the NFL erroneously determined that Collins failed to cooperate with the league, a distinction that allows for suspension. The association said the lawsuit was “unfounded”. It was not immediately clear whether the case had been referred to a judge.
“This lawsuit is baseless as it has already been determined by the two jointly appointed impartial arbitrators of the NFL and the NFL who reviewed it,” said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. “We will seek to abolish this case as soon as possible,” he added.
Collins’ suspension was announced the day after Dallas lost 31-29 to defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay in the opening game. The remaining two games of suspension will be Sunday at home against the New York Giants and October 17 in New England.
The lawsuit says the NFL misled an arbitrator by saying that Collins had previously suspended four games when he did not. The NFL eventually decided a fine in lieu of a suspension of Collins for missed tests in early 2020.
In November 2020, the league was set to suspend Collins’ five-games due to missed drug tests. The federation negotiated a two-game reduction, but the appeal resulted in an arbitrator re-banning five games.
Collins’ representatives said the league announced the suspension, while awaiting another appeal. The lawsuit alleged that the advertisement violated a confidentiality clause in the agreement between the university and the union regarding drug use policies.
“For Mr. Collins, this case represents the difference between a career in the NFL and a potential career-destroying suspension,” the lawsuit said. “The damage inflicted on him could not be more evident.”
Collins signed with the Cowboys as an uncut free agent in 2015. The former LSU player was expected to be a top pick, but his name came up in an investigation into the death of a woman just before the draft.
The 28-year-old Collins is on his third contract, the last five-year contract being signed worth $50 million in 2019.
Newy Scruggs and Jean-Jacques Taylor can’t believe reports that Cowboys attack La’el Collins attempted to bribe an NFL drug tester. Plus who does the Cowboys go more against the Eagles, Ezekiel Elliott or Tony Pollard?