La’el Collins has made his decision:
Stars over surf.
The Dallas Cowboys have signed the most coveted rookie free agent in NFL history, ending an intriguing saga — and surely disappointing many in Dolphins headquarters.
The Dolphins were one of several teams to make an all-out push for Collins, a surefire first-round pick before the murder of his former girlfriend Brittney Mills on April 24.
Collins went undrafted due to the unresolved nature of the criminal investigation. He has since met with Baton Rouge police, who have never named him as a suspect or a person of interest. And Collins has taken a paternity test that proves he was not the father of Mills’ unborn child, who has also died.
“I never once was bitter,” Collins said at his introductory press conference, according to WFAA-TV. “I never dropped my head. I know the person I am.”
Collins was reportedly set to fly to South Florida to meet with Dolphins brass on either Thursday or Friday, but those plans have obviously changed. On Tuesday, four Dolphins players flew to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to take him to dinner.
His final decision might have come down to money. His contract perimeters are limited by the league’s collective bargaining agreement, but since there is no state income tax in Texas (like Florida), his take-home earnings will be higher than if he had signed with some other teams.
“I got to choose the people I want to work with,” Collins said, calling it a blessing to emerge from the tragic situation.