Ravens: La’el Collins named ‘ideal trade target’ for Baltimore
By Justin Fried
The Baltimore Ravens could still be looking for offensive line help at the trade deadline, even after signing former Cincinnati Bengals first-round pick Cedric Ogbuehi. And one player who would make for a high-profile addition is La’el Collins.
Collins has had a tumultuous last couple of seasons with the Dallas Cowboys missing all of 2020 with an injury and all but one game in 2021 due to a suspension.
But it wasn’t long ago that Collins was considered to be one of the best right tackles in football. And with the Ravens in need of a right tackle following an injury to Patrick Mekari, perhaps they could call up the Cowboys and explore a trade.
That’s the idea that Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report recently suggested when he listed Collins as an “ideal trade target” for the Ravens.
In a perfect world, Collins would absolutely be an excellent trade target for Baltimore. But there are a few obstacles that could get in the way.
How realistic is a Ravens trade for La’el Collins?
Collins was widely considered to be one of the best offensive line prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft before legal complications (of which he was eventually cleared) prior to the draft caused him to go undrafted.
The Cowboys swooped in and he almost immediately became a starter at left guard starting 11 games as a rookie. He opened the 2016 season as the starting left guard but an injury sidelined him after just three games.
Since then, however, the Cowboys have shifted him over to right tackle where he’s developed into one of the best in the game at his position. Collins’ 86.4 Pro Football Focus grade in 2019, his last full season, ranked him fifth among all tackles in the NFL.
In his absence, former undrafted free agent Terence Steele has stepped in and proved to be a more-than-capable starting option at right tackle leaving Collins’ future with the team uncertain.
That said, the Cowboys did just sign Collins to a five-year, $50 million extension two years ago meaning that they aren’t necessarily looking to move him and have been giving him snaps at left guard in practice.
But with the Ravens desperate for offensive line help, would they be able to land Collins in an exchange for some draft capital?
The good news is that his $1.55 million prorated base salary in 2021 means that he’s actually an affordable option for the Ravens, even with their limited cap space.
However, his extension fully kicks in after this season leaving him with a cap hit of $15 million in each of the next two years. With the Ravens still needing to extend Lamar Jackson, among others, that would handcuff them a little.
Still, La’el Collins is a good young player who would undoubtedly be an upgrade in both the short and long term.
If the Ravens are willing to part with what might be significant draft capital, it could be a trade they explore.