Let's talk about La'el Collins.
Beginning with Day 2 of the now-completed 2015 NFL Draft the Big Blue view Twitter timeline, and the comments sections of various draft-related posts here on the web site, have been filled with fans begging the Giants select the former LSU offensive lineman. Or, now that he is an undrafted free agent, bring him in.
"We thought about La'el the whole draft because he is sitting up there, but we were going to pass on that," Giants Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross said after the draft.
That, of course, is the murder investigation of an ex-girlfriend, Brittany Mills, that Collins is mixed up in. There has been no suggestion to this point that Collins is a suspect in Mills' shooting death. Unsaid in all of that, and in the fact that Collins is expected to talk with Louisiana police today about Mills' death, is that he hasn't been exonerated, either.
As Adam Schefter said during the draft "We have never seen a story like this in NFL Draft history."
Yes, Collins was at one time considered a player who might have been in consideration for the Giants at No. 9 overall. Yes, he is a first-round talent. Yes, on the basis of talent alone getting a first-round value on Day 2, Day 3, or unbelievably as an undrafted free agent would seem like a great idea.
This, however, isn't your run-of-the-mill character issue. This isn't a positive drug test at the combine. Or a DWI arrest. Or a domestic violence charge. This is a murder investigation. After the Aaron Hernandez case no one in the NFL wants to touch that. Nor should they.
Houston Texans GM Rick Smith, in an interview with the New Orleans Advocate, called the situation "unfortunate" and "tragic" and that there was too much uncertainty to use a draft pick on him.
NFL.com's Conor Orr wrote this immediately after the draft:
Teams were wary of drafting Collins until they know more information. The opinion across football has been relatively simple: Wait until the investigation process runs its course.
That, to me, was the proper course of action.
Now, the situation changes if Collins is cleared of wrongdoing after meeting with police. If that happens, you can bet there will be a slew of NFL teams lining up to try and sign him. NFL.com's Gil Brandt tweeted that "there will be a lot of interest." The Giants might even be one of the teams interested. If he is proven to have done nothing wrong, why not try to acquire a talent like that?
Collins' representatives have said Collins would not sign as a UDFA and would re-enter the draft next year. That, however, is reportedly is not an option.
Collins, of course, lost a chance at millions of dollars during this process. Over The Cap, though, says that while UDFA contracts are limited that could end up helping Collins recoup money in the long run. If, of course, he is cleared and ends up on an NFL roster during the 2015 season.
If you still want Collins to be a Giant, maybe there is a chance you get your wish. There is no way to definitely say that you won't. To this point, though, the Giants -- and the other 31 NFL teams -- have been right to let this investigation play out first.