Rex Ryan, Dolphins players meet with La'el Collins in Baton Rouge

ByAdam Schefter and Mike Rodak ESPN logo
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan passed through Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and had an unsanctioned meeting Monday evening with formerLSUoffensive lineman La'el Collins.

Ryan was in the area, called Collins and asked whether they could meet, a source confirmed to ESPN. The meeting, which was earlier reported by The New Orleans Advocate, was not cleared through Collins' representatives.

Three former LSU players now with the Miami Dolphins -- receiver Jarvis Landry, linebacker Kelvin Sheppard and defensive tackle Anthony Johnson -- also went to Baton Rouge on Tuesday to court Collins, a person familiar with the situation told the AP. The person said the players went on their own, and no Dolphins official made the trip.

Collins' agent, Deryk Gilmore, did not detail Collins' upcoming NFL plans, but was emphatic in a text to The Associated Press saying his client is "not meeting with teams. You can quote me."

Collins, who was not selected in last week's NFL draft, was interviewed by police earlier Monday about the shooting death of a 29-year-old pregnant woman in Baton Rouge.

"It went fine; we answered all their questions," Collins' attorney, Jim Boren, told reporters. "La'el is not going to make any comments. I'm not going to have any comments. The investigation is going to continue. La'el is now going to start making an effort to start getting his football career back on track."

Police have not named Collins as a suspect -- or even a person of interest -- in the murder investigation. Collins' former girlfriend, Brittney Mills, 29, was shot to death April 24 after opening the front door of her Baton Rouge home. She died of multiple shots to her torso; her unborn child survived the shooting but died a week later in the hospital.

It's possible Collins will be asked to return for more questioning, Baton Rouge Police public information officer Don Coppola told Gannett Louisiana.

"There is that possibility of more questioning of Mr. Collins," Coppola told Gannett Louisiana. "No one can be ruled out until an arrest has been made."

Coppola added that "Collins fully cooperated with investigators and is still not considered a suspect in the homicide of Brittney and Brenton Mills."

Baton Rouge police have not publicly named any suspects in the case.

"I think he's not a suspect. He answered all the questions they had. Every question," Boren said. "We didn't claim the Fifth [Amendment]. We answered every single question. We gave them all the information they asked for. He's ready to get his life back."

Collins, who was once seen as a likely first-round selection, now is classified as an undrafted free agent and, despite his original intention to do so, cannot enter the 2016 draft, an NFL spokesman told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Collins tried to pull out of the draft shortly before it started, asking whether he could instead enter the supplementary draft in hopes that he would be cleared by then. The NFL, however, denied that request.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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