NFL Wire News

NFL notebook: Police question Collins in death of ex-girlfriend


The Sports Xchange

Former LSU offensive lineman La’el Collins was interviewed by Louisiana police for more than an hour Monday about the shooting death of a pregnant woman in Baton Rouge.

Collins met with Baton Rouge police homicide detectives at Louisiana State Police headquarters as part of a investigation in which Collins’ former girlfriend was killed.

Collins, an All-SEC lineman who was considered a possible first-round pick before the investigation scared off NFL teams, was not selected during the 2015 NFL Draft. He is now classified as an undrafted free agent, which also means he can redo a contract after two years.

Collins, who hopes to clear his name so he can find an NFL team, did not speak as he left the police building Monday accompanied by his attorney, Jim Boren.

“It went fine; we answered all their questions,” Boren told the Times-Picayune. “La’el is not going to make any comments. I’m not going to have any comments. The investigation is going to continue. La’el is now going to start making an effort to start getting his football career back on track.”

Collins’ former girlfriend, 29-year-old Brittney Mills, was shot to death April 24 after opening the front door of her Baton Rouge home. She died of multiple shots to her torso and her unborn child survived the shooting but died a week later in the hospital.

Collins has been wanted for questioning for more than a week, but police confirmed Monday that Collins is not a suspect. Police have not publicly said if they have a suspect or a motive in the crime.

Collins left the NFL Draft in Chicago on Wednesday to return to Baton Rouge. 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.

—Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Bruce Irvin, who did not have his fifth-year option picked up by the team, has taken out his frustration on social media.

Irvin wrote on Twitter with a series of tweets — some of them profanity-laced — that revealed his feelings about not receiving the option. The Seahawks would have been on the hook to pay Irvin $7.8 million in 2016.

“Worked for everything I got in my life this s— will b no different!” Irvin tweeted. “I earns my keeps!”

The deadline to pick up the option was Sunday. Irvin will play this season at $1.5 million and become a free agent at the end of the year.

The 27-year-old Irvin was a first-round draft choice out of West Virginia in 2012. Irvin had 6.5 sacks in the regular season in 2014 and two more in the playoffs. He also had two interceptions, both returned for touchdowns.

—Morris Claiborne can become a free agent in March after the Dallas Cowboys declined to pick up the 2016 contract option for the former No. 6 overall pick.

Claiborne has missed 18 games the past two seasons because of hamstring and knee injuries. When healthy, he did not perform up to expectations and his spot on the depth chart next season could become questionable depending on his performance in training camp.

—Jameis Winston said he is good enough to play two sports professionally. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft will have to be content quarterbacking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the next four or five years. reported Monday that Winston’s four-year, $24.4 million deal contains a clause the prevents him from playing professional baseball.

He was a relief pitcher at Florida State and played two seasons. He was picked in the 15th round of the 2012 MLB draft by the Texas Rangers, who also drafted Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Winston had seven saves and 31 strikeouts as the backup closer for the Seminoles in 2014.

Winston is eligible again to be drafted in the 2015 Major League Baseball draft June 8-10.

—The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will not pick up the fifth-year option for running back Doug Martin, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Martin will become an unrestricted free agent after the upcoming season. The Bucs still can sign Martin to an extension before free agency opens next spring.

Martin, who rushed for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns in 16 starts as a rookie, has been limited by injuries the last two seasons. He rushed for 456 yards in six games in 2013 and 494 yards in 14 games last season.

—The Minnesota Vikings exercised their fifth-year contract options on left tackle Matt Kalil and safety Harrison Smith.

Kalil was the fourth overall pick in 2012, but is coming off a disappointing third season plagued by inconsistent play following offseason knee surgery.

Kalil particularly struggled in pass protection, and was credited with giving up double-digit sacks.

—Oakland Raiders wide receiver James Jones will be released to save the team $3.4 million against the 2015 salary cap.

Jones, 31, led the team in receptions last season with 73, including 31 on third down, and was targeted a team-leading 112 times in 2014.

Jones became expendable when the Raiders signed former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree as an unrestricted free agent and used the fourth overall pick on Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper.

—Cincinnati Bengals Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth is frustrated contract talks haven’t started, especially after being surprised the team used its first two picks in the 2015 NFL Draft on players at his position.

The 10-year veteran is in the last year of his current deal.

“I want to be above and beyond and do more than the average guy in this locker room,” Whitworth said Monday. “But it’s hard to do that when the feeling’s not reciprocated. Really, it’s just a one-way street.”

Cedric Ogbuehi from Texas A&M was selected 21st overall by Cincinnati, and then Jake Fisher from Oregon was taken in the second round (53rd overall).

—San Francisco 49ers fullback Bruce Miller has been charged with misdemeanor vandalism, reported.

The Santa County District Attorney’s office said the alleged incident occurred March 5 when Miller and his girlfriend were arguing in a parking garage in Santa Clara, Calif. Miller allegedly took his girlfriend’s cell phone and smashed it against a wall.

Miller was originally arrested on a charge of spousal battery, but the girlfriend refused medical attention and did not have any visible injuries.

—The Buffalo Bills signed free agent defensive lineman Alex Carrington. Terms were not disclosed.

Carrington was a third-round draft pick by the Bills out of Arkansas State in 2010, and spent the first four years of his NFL career with the team before signing with the St. Louis Rams last offseason.

The Bills also announced the signings of 13 undrafted rookie free agents: WR Andre Davis (South Florida), TE Clay Burton (Florida), OTs Jermaine Barton (Illinois State) and Tyson Chandler (N.C. State), cornerbacks Cam Thomas (Western Kentucky) and Merrill Noel (Wake Forest), linebackers AJ Tarpley (Standford) and Andrew Hudson (Washington), defensive tackle Justin Hamilton (Louisiana-Lafyette), defensive ends BJ Larsen (Utah State), Cedric Reed (Texas) and Erik Williams (Bethune Cookman) and punter Spencer Roth (Baylor).

—The Washington Redskins waived 11 players, including Jerry Rice, Jr.

The son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice spent the past season on injured reserve after hurting his shoulder. The younger Rice signed with Washington last year after going undrafted.

The Redskins also waived nose tackle Isaako Aaitui, tackle Edawn Coughman, wide receivers Braylon Bell, linebackers Steve Beauharnais and Gabe Miller, cornerbacks Trey Wolfe and Kenny Okoro, guard Rishaw Johnson, tackle Ty Nsekhe and defensive lineman Kenny Horsley.

—The Atlanta Falcons signed fullback Collin Mooney. Mooney spent the past three seasons with the Tennessee Titans, seeing time on the practice squad and active roster since being signed out of the U.S. Military Academy as an undrafted rookie in 2012.

Mooney signed with the Titans after fulfilling his three-year commitment to the U.S. Army. He rushed for a single-season program record 1,339 yards for the Black Knights as a senior.

Patrick DiMarco, a three-year pro out of South Carolina, is the only other true fullback on the Falcons’ current roster.

—The Indianapolis Colts waived four players — wide receiver Kadron Boone, defensive end Gannon Conway, running back Jeff Demps and offensive tackle Matt Hall.

The Colts also agreed to terms with 15 undrafted free agents.

The 15 undrafted free agents signed were: quarterback Bryan Bennett, wide receiver Quan Bray, cornerback Donald Celiscar, linebacker Cody Galea, linebacker Terrell Hartsfield, linebacker Zachary Hodges, cornerback Joshua Mitchell, wide receiver Ezell Ruffin, cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz, tight end Jean Sifrin, tight end Justin Sinz, safety Robert Smith, linebacker Junior Sylvestre, running back Tyler Varga and center Brandon Vitabile.

—Four finalists for the EA Sports Madden 2016 video game will be on the fan ballot that determines which player gets the honor of cover boy of the popular video game franchise.

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown are the finalists with fans voting at until May 11.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was on the Madden ’15 cover last year.

—New York Jets director of pro personnel Brendan Prophett and five scouts will not return next season under general manager Mike Maccagnan.

Common when a regime change involving a general manager or coach is made, Maccagnan is likely to add personal allies to the scouting department in the coming weeks.

Maccagnan fired college scouting director Terry Bradway and director of college scouting Jeff Bauer were fired when Maccagnan was hired.

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