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PACKERS HAVE DECIDED TO RELEASE NICK COLLINS
Mon, 30 Apr 2012 07:47 PM EDT

The Green Bay Packers released Nick Collins, mentioning concerns regarding the veteran safety’s ability to safely continue his career after a major neck injury. Baseball spreads

Collins hurt his neck while attempting to make a tackle in the Packers’ September 18 victory at Carolina, an injury that stopped his season and needed surgery. Agent Alan Herman said Collins hasn’t decided whether he will try to play for another team.

Packers’ GM Ted Thompson asserted the team wasn’t comfortable putting Collins back on the field.

“From the beginning of this process, we have taken our time and sought many medical opinions while sustaining steady dialogue with Nick,” Thompson claimed. “Finally, we were not comfortable clearing him to play again. As with all of our players, Nick is a member of our family and we thought of him that way as we came to this conclusion.”

A 2nd-round pick in the 2005 NFL draft, Collins started 95 regular-season games, missing only 3 over the 1st 6 years of his career. He had 21 career interceptions with the Packers, returning 4 for touchdowns. He was named to the Pro Bowl 3 straight seasons and was named a 2nd-team All-Pro after the 2010 season. Baseball odds

He returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown in the Packers’ triumph over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 Super Bowl.

“Nick is a part of our core, and this is a really difficult day for all Packers,” Thompson said. “Making this kind of call is never easy, especially when it includes somebody like Nick Collins. He has meant such a lot to the community, his squad and the organization. He is a good man and always will be a part of the Packers family.”

It was the 2nd hard call the Packers have made after releasing vet left tackle Chad Clifton. But parting with Collins wasn’t entirely unexpected. Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy expressed concerns at last month’s NFL meetings.

“If Nick’s in a position to come back, that is a great boost for us, but the personal side of it actually is the issue,” McCarthy announced. “It’s an injury that hopefully the surgery has worked and everything’s back in place. But once more you’re talking about a risk assessment. That makes me a little nervous.”

McCarthy declared at the time that while the reports regarding Collins’ surgery were positive, that wasn’t always going to be sufficient for the Packers to put him back on the field.

“To have Nick Collins back on the practice field and playing games would be significant, but this is more than football,” McCarthy related. “Nick’s a family guy; he’s a father, that’s no fun standing over someone like that. I do not believe any coach wants to see one of their players go through that.”

The move is not likely to change the Packers’ system going into the NFL draft. Given the worries about Collins, the Packers were likely to look for safety help either way — although Thompson is firm that immediate team needs won’t compel the Packers to reach for a player.


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