NFL Wire News

LSU’s Collins goes undrafted, becomes free agent


The Sports Xchange

LSU offensive lineman La’el Collins, considered a possible first-round pick before a murder investigation scared NFL teams off, was not drafted Saturday and became a free agent.

Collins had said he would re-enter the draft in 2016 if he was not selected in the second or third round Friday. But because he was not drafted at all this year, that is not an option. He instead becomes a free agent who can sign with any team — although teams likely will wait for the case to be resolved first.

NFL teams still obviously were leery of drafting the lineman, who originally was considered a possible first-round pick.

The NFL on Thursday denied a request by Collins to be removed from draft consideration and allowed to enter the supplemental draft in the summer.

Collins is scheduled to talk to police on Monday regarding a murder case in Baton Rouge, La. Police have said Collins is not a suspect in the shooting death of a pregnant woman believed to be his former girlfriend.

Collins was at an NFL event in Chicago on Wednesday morning but returned to Baton Rouge in the hope of speaking with authorities and clearing his name.

Because the investigation was not complete, however, the police were not ready to meet with him, NFL Media reported. Police instead agreed to schedule an interview with Collins after the draft.

Officials are trying to get more information about the death of 29-year-old Brittney Mills, who was shot and killed a week ago in Baton Rouge. She was found in her apartment and rushed to the hospital, where her infant was delivered. The child died Friday, police said.

Police believe Mills is the former girlfriend of Collins and are trying to determine who killed her and whether Collins was the father of the baby.

“He’s not a suspect, but we are seeking to question him,” Cpl. Don Coppola of the Baton Rogue Police Department told NFL Media on Tuesday. “He knew the victim. We’re not sure of the exact nature of the relationship. But for the investigation and through the investigation, we’re exhausting all avenues to locate this young lady’s killer.”

Collins’ attorney, Jim Boren, said Tuesday that he provided information to the police and has hired a private investigator.

“We have identified where La’el was the day the lady was murdered to establish he was nowhere around,” Boren told ESPN. “We have offered to give names, witnesses who can vouch for his whereabouts that day until after the woman’s body was discovered. We believe that when (police) have verified that information they will rule him out as a suspect in the homicide, just as I believe he should be.”

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