Multiple NFL teams have shown interest in signing former LSU lineman La'el Collins as an undrafted free agent after he met with police investigators Monday.
The BRPD released a statement following that meeting reaffirming that Collins is not a suspect in the murder of Brittney Mills and her infant son. Police sought Collins for questioning because of a past relationship he had with Mills, and that connection caused all 32 NFL teams to pass on him in last weekend's draft.
But it now appears Collins has erased all concern, and those professional clubs are in hot pursuit of the previously projected first-round pick.
It all started with a Monday night meeting at a Baton Rouge restaurant between Collins and Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan. The two were spotted leaving the local hot spot Ruffino's at approximately 10 p.m.
There is a grey area though in just how much contact is permitted between Collins and NFL teams. Rules prevent players that declare for the draft from meeting with NFL personnel on campus or in their residence until the school year ends. Final exams are being taken this week at LSU.
For that reason, Collins' agent told the Associated Press his client is not meeting with NFL teams at this time. But the Bills' apparently found a loophole by meeting with him at an off-campus restaurant.
The Miami Dolphins are another team that seem to be navigating their way around guidelines. Ross Dellenger with The Advocate first reported Monday night that the Dolphins were set to meet with him. More reports surfaced Tuesday that the meeting would not include Miami executives, but current players on the roster with strong ties to Collins.
The meeting reportedly included former LSU Tigers Jarvis Landry, Anthony Johnson and Kelvin Sheppard. Those first two have a strong relationship with Collins that dates all the way back to their high school days. Collins, Landry and Johnson were all five-star members of "The Fam," LSU's highly touted 2011 recruiting class.
There have also been reports that No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston has done his part to recruit Collins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Collins will seemingly have his choice of teams when he does finally decide to sign. Aaron Wilson with NationalFootballPost.com reported that Collins and his agent have begun notifying NFL teams that won't make the cut has he begins to narrow down his list of suitors.
That signals the start of a much more promising future than what transpired before the draft. Though Collins was never named a suspect, Collins' connection to that murder investigation cost him millions in guaranteed money had he been selected in the first round. Instead, Collins will likely land a signing bonus of only a few thousand dollars and make the league minimum salary should he make a roster.
But the one benefit Collins does now have is that he can pick the team best for him. And it's clear that the NFL teams are pursuing him hard now that all potential legal issues are in the rearview mirror. There's been no timetable reported on when Collins plans to decide, but he'll have plenty of options once he does.
NFL Teams pursuing LSU's La'El Collins
Tiger Blitz Top Stories
Game Preview: LSU vs. MissouriTiger Blitz previews LSU's first game under new coach Ed Orgeron against Missouri on Saturday at 6:30 pm CT in Death Valley on the SEC Network.
Tiger BlitzYesterday at 10:00 AM
It's Geaux Time for LSU and Coach OTiger Blitz caught up with Louisiana high school football coaches to get their thoughts on Louisiana native Ed Orgeron as the coach of the LSU Tigers.
Tiger BlitzYesterday at 9:35 AM
Tiger Bites Sept. 30: Inside Everything LSUCome inside another edition of Tiger Bites: Inside Everything LSU with the latest on the Tigers on the recruiting trail and field.
Tiger BlitzYesterday at 7:00 AM
Fournette gametime decision, LSU injury notesAt Ed Orgeron's Thursday press conference, LSU's coach updated injury news, talked about his first gameday and how the team is adjusting.
Tiger BlitzThursday at 4:53 PM
LSU Coaching Hot BoardFollowing Les Miles departure, there's sure to be plenty of high-profile candidates wanting to coach the Tigers and Scout keeps you up to date with the latest on LSU football's…
Tiger BlitzWednesday at 2:34 PM