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Reports: Bengals Finalizing Deal With RT La'el Collins

A new No. 71 for the Bengals.
A new No. 71 for the Bengals.

The Opening Day overhaul of the right side of the Bengals offensive line is complete less than a week into free agency.

According to reports.

After a weekend of heavyweight negotiations that included a sighting at Kenwood Mall, multiple outlets reported Sunday that the Bengals' shopping spree now included an agreement with former Cowboys right tackle La'el Collins.

 Collins, who turns 29 the week training camp starts coming off a year he graded as the third best run blocking tackle in the NFL by Pro Football Focus, joins right guard Alex Cappa and center Ted Karras for quarterback Joe Burrow's changing-of-the-guard protection.

Cappa and Karras were introduced Friday, the day Collins arrived in Cincinnati following his release from Dallas. After Burrow hosted him for a Friday night visit with some of the offensive line, Collins was seen at Kenwood Saturday afternoon as Denver-based agent Peter Schaffer worked the phones with the Bengals.

Collins has comfortable ties in Cincinnati. He shares his LSU pedigree with Burrow and several other Bengals and offensive line coach Frank Pollack had the same job in Dallas when the Cowboys signed Collins as an undrafted free agent in 2015. By the time Pollack left after Collins' third season, he had molded him from a starting left guard into a starting right tackle allowing just two sacks last season in 454 pass-blocking snaps.

Collins has also been seen working with Willie Anderson, the Bengals all-time right tackle and Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist.

"I had a great relationship with L.C. Love him to death," Pollack said Friday. "He definitely fits the mold of glass-eater. Watch his tape. That's clearly evident. He's nasty. He's a lot of fun to coach. We'll see where all that goes."

Apparently it went and it's believed the Bengals went past $40 million in salary cap committed for 2022 since the NFL's new year began Wednesday. They also visited with defensive tackle Jarran Reed on Friday and they may re-visit their own defensive tackle, Larry Ogunjobi.

Ogunjobi, who won a $40.5 million three-year deal in Chicago after his career-high seven sacks with the Bengals, failed his physical with the Bears. Ogunjobi broke his foot in the Wild Card and if the Bengals do consider him they'll probably do it later to see how the foot heals.

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