It certainly came as a surprise to most, including seemingly La’el Collins and his agent. The NFL handed down a five-game suspension to Collins on Friday and while the fanbase wasn’t happy, no one seems to be more unhappy than Collins’ agent, Peter Shaffer, He has railed against the process and plans to continue the fight on Collins’ behalf by pushing for a further appeal of the suspension.
Collins was suspended for missing drug tests, which we now know numbered seven misses. The issue for Collins’ agent, Shaffer, seems to be two-fold. It’s whether the missed drug tests that he was suspended for constitute a rightful suspension, and whether mitigating circumstances around the tests should have been taken into consideration.
Collins has been tested roughly 10 times a month over the past 18 months, and, according to sources, has not tested positive for marijuana once between Oct. 21, 2020 and Aug. 11, 2021. However, Collins has been cited seven times for “failure to appear” for testing, although often with mitigating circumstances, according to sources.
The NFL, in its decision to suspend Collins, came to the conclusion that those seven failures constituted grounds for a suspension, with Schaffer now challenging that in further appeal. On some occasions, the testing dates that Collins missed were on days when the Cowboys had sent players home due to a COVID-related situation, and there were mitigating circumstances.