More changes appear to be on the horizon for the Dallas Cowboys with starting right tackle La’el Collins the latest player to be mentioned as a potential cut candidate. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Cowboys have given Collins permission to seek a trade but are considering his release if the team is unable to find a viable partner for a deal.
“Dallas has given permission to starting RT La’el Collins to seek a trade, according to his new agent Peter Schaffer,” Schefter tweeted on March 12. “Dallas needs cap room and Collins was scheduled to make $15.25 million this season. Likely to be released if no trade.”
Releasing Collins does not offer the Cowboys major cap relief for 2022, but it appears the team is ready to move on from the tackle in favor of Terence Steele. Sports Illustrated’s Mike Fisher reported the Cowboys have “soured” on Collins and question his commitment.
“The $ sacrifice here makes little sense,” Fisher explained on Twitter on March 12. “But Cowboys have soured on La’el Collins – long wishing he’d ‘take the job more seriously,’ I’m told.”
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The Cowboys Would Take a $13.9 Million Cap Hit by Releasing Collins
Collins still has three seasons remaining on his five-year, $50 million contract. The right tackle is slated to have a $10 million salary next season. Dallas has an out in Collins’ deal this offseason, but the team would still have to take a $13.9 million cap hit, per Spotrac.
Despite serving a lengthy suspension in 2021, Collins still performed at a high level when he was on the field. The veteran tackle earned an 82 grade from Pro Football Focus.
As with Amari Cooper, the best option for the Cowboys is to find a trade partner for Collins. It would allow Dallas to get something in return for Collins while avoiding the massive cap hit.
Dallas Wants to Move From Collins to Steele
ESPN’s Todd Archer noted that the Cowboys are more bullish about Steele than Collins moving forward. Steele is on a bargain salary of $895,000 this upcoming season but will be a restricted free agent in 2023.
“With Terence Steele, Cowboys believe they can move on from Collins,” Archer said in a series of tweets. “Left guard not much of option. Trade opens up $1.3m in room. If released as June 1 cut, would open up $10m.
“For whatever reason you want to pick, this staff has not seemed to be a fan of Collins. Hurt in 2020, suspended in 2021 and didn’t get his job back immediately.”
The Cowboys Have ‘Rebuffed’ Trade Calls About Steele
The Cowboys are not the only team who has taken notice of Steele’s play. Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins reported the Cowboys have received calls about Steele’s availability, but the team has been unwilling to deal the offensive lineman.
“Some NFL teams have reached out to the Cowboys about trading Terence Steele but have been rebuffed, a source said,” Watkins detailed on Twitter on March 10. “Cowboys confidence in Steele is prompting some of this La’el Collins trade talk.”
Time will tell if the Cowboys can find trade partners for Cooper and Collins. If not, the Cowboys appear to be steadfast in their desire to release both players with nothing in return.