Dallas Cowboys right tackle La’el Collins lost at least $1 million in the 2015 NFL Draft when the curious death of a former girlfriend caused him to go from a likely first-round pick to an undrafted free agent.
Collins was later cleared of any involvement in the incident, but the damage was done.
His agent Deryk Gilmore hoped to salvage things by requesting teams not to draft him. That allowed Collins to sign with the Cowboys as a free agent and hopefully make up some of the money he lost in the draft.
The big payback came Tuesday when Collins agreed a two-year contract extension with the Cowboys, per a source
He is the final year of his contract and would have been a restricted free agent in 2018.
The extension is worth $15.4 million over two years and includes a $4 million signing bonus.
The $7.7 million average of the deal makes him the second-highest paid right tackle in the league behind Ricky Wagner of the Detroit Lions.
The deal also includes a $2 million escalator if he plays 85 percent of the snaps.
What’s even more important is that the contract puts Collins in the same financial ball park as he would have been if had been drafted in the middle of the first round.
He will be a free agent again at the age of 27.
It’s a good deal for Collins because he only has 14 career starts after missing most of last season with a toe injury and is making the transition from guard to right tackle where he will replacing the retired Doug Free.
Collins initial contract with the Cowboys was worth $1.5 million for three years, including base salaries of $526,750 and $616,750 in 2016 and 2017.