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NFL hits Falcons' Jalen Collins with 10-game ban for second PED violation

August 07,2017 21:20

Falcons cornerback Jalen Collins has been suspended for the first 10 games of the 2017 season for PED use. Collins, who was also suspended in 2016 for four games (also for PED use), was a second-round draft pick out of LSU in 2015. Once his ...


Falcons cornerback Jalen Collins has been suspended for the first 10 games of the 2017 season for PED use. Collins, who was also suspended in 2016 for four games (also for PED use), was a second-round draft pick out of LSU in 2015. Once his suspension is up, Collins will have missed 18 games in the past two years. He had two interceptions in 2016, but with the Falcons roster as crowded as it is, they may have trouble finding a spot for Collins even upon his reinstatement.
Desmond Trufant is the clear-cut No. 1 corner in Atlanta, and Robert Alford will likely be lining up across from him. Brian Poole will generally be the No. 3. Atlanta has a lot of bodies, but not a ton of ton of shut-down players. Of the suspension, Falcons' GM Thomas Dimitroff said:

We are extremely disappointed that for the second straight season we are dealing with a suspension for Jalen. Such are the consequences when certain choices are made. Our decisions going forward will be based on what Dan and I feel is best for the team.

Collins filled in for Trufant last year after a torn pectoral muscle sidelined him for the season. Despite his undeniable talent, he may not be worth the trouble for Atlanta at this point. If they do keep him on the team, he'll be eligible for reinstatement Nov. 21. Should Collins defy the league's policy again, he'll receive at least two years under the current CBA.
The development isn't completely shocking. Collins was demoted to the third-team defense, and he does have a history with substances. He admitted that he failed multiple drug tests at LSU, and his history with marijuana was a red flag. The Falcons took a flier on Collins, and  it just hasn't panned out. He's played well when he's on the field, but the "when he's on the field" caveat really only applies to game changers.
Collins is eligible to play preseason games, though it's unlikely the Falcons will give him reps with their stable of defensive backs. His trade value is more or less shot due to the looming two-year suspension should this happen again. Perhaps Collins can recover, but right now he's going to have a hard time finding someone to take a shot on him in the foreseeable future.

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