Former Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins has finally learned his fate for the remainder of the 2019 season, nearly eight months after his initial arrest. The NFL has officially suspended the 25-year-old free agent three regular-season games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, after the Fort Lauderdale native caught with marijuana back in March.
NFL Suspends Alex Collins
The suspension stems from a spring arrest, where police smelled marijuana in Collins’ vehicle after a car crash. After searching the tailback’s vehicle, officers found five ounces of marijuana and a handgun. Collins was about a mile outside of the Baltimore Ravens’ practice facility at the time of the arrest.
Collins was then charged with possession with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana in excess of 10 grams, and possession of a handgun in a vehicle. He was later released on $7,5000 bail. The Baltimore Ravens decided to sever ties with their former starting running back — a move that was perhaps made easier by the offseason signing of former New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram.
Collins is currently still a free agent and is recovering from offseason surgery to repair a broken leg back in July. With Collins set to be medically cleared in the coming weeks, the NFL’s decision on a three-game ban is all the more timely.
Despite Collins’ recent run-in with the law, he could be a valuable depth commodity for a team following his suspension. Last year, Collins received 114 carries for 411 yards and seven touchdowns in 10 games — good for 3.6 yards a carry. He missed the final six contests of the season due to a foot injury.
In 2017, Collins broke out with the Ravens after coming over from the Seattle Seahawks — the team that drafted the former Arkansas star in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL draft. That season, he led the Ravens in rushing, receiving 212 carries for 973 yards and six touchdowns.
For his career, the ex-Razorback has totaled 1,509 yards rushing on 357 carries and 14 touchdowns.
A Familiar Trend
Cannabis use has, by and large, been prevalent in the NFL over the past decade. Some of the most notable suspensions have come from Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory, who is currently suspended indefinitely after yet another failed drug test, and the recently-released ex-Patriots and Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, who was also suspended multiple times for marijuana use. Both players received year-long suspensions at different points in their careers.
Another ex-Cowboys defensive lineman, David Irving, decided to retire from the NFL after deciding to “choose weed over the NFL.”
Players have clamored for the use of medicinal marijuana as a replacement for the highly addictive opioid painkillers. In fact, there have been plenty of big names to admit they’ve smoked the plant regularly during their time in the NFL. Most recently, former Detroit Lion superstar Calvin Johnson Jr., who retired early from the NFL due to fears from his health. ‘