Departing Dallas and arriving in Cincinnati, La’el Collins will be the latest addition to the Bengals' rebuilt offensive line.
The Bengals are finalizing an agreement with the former Cowboys offensive tackle, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport reported Sunday. The team later confirmed it's a three-year deal.
With a clear offseason onus of improving the offensive line in front of franchise quarterback Joe Burrow, the Bengals pounced on Collins once he became a free agent.
Hours removed from Collins' release, it was reported he would be visiting the Bengals, and he's staying. In fact, the veteran was scheduled to leave town Sunday for another visit but the two sides struck a deal before Collins departed, Garafolo noted.
After adding free-agent guards Alex Cappa and Ted Karras from the Buccaneers and Patriots, respectively, Cincinnati is upgrading on the exterior of the line. Collins will likely man one of the tackle spots along with 2019 first-round draft pick Jonah Williams.
The Cowboys released Collins on Thursday in a cost-saving move, parting ways with him after seven years.
Sensational in the running game and solid as a pass protector, Collins' largest struggle has been staying on the field. He missed all of 2020 with a hip injury that required surgery and then was absent five games in 2021 due to a suspension.
If Collins, who garnered an 82.0 Pro Football Focus grade in 2021, is available and healthy in his age-29 season, he could prove to be a hugely important signing for the reigning AFC champions.