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Nick Collins May Want to Play Again, but It's Not Entirely His Decision to Make

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Nick Collins May Want to Play Again, but It's Not Entirely His Decision to Make

By avoiding being vague or cryptic in a pair of recent tweets from Nick Collins, the former Green Bay Packers safety has gained plenty of recent attention clearly stating his desire to play football again.


It's all fine and well that Collins wants to play again, but that doesn't mean he's going to be suiting up for the Packers or any other team anytime soon.

The Packers released Collins in April of 2012 after surgery to fuse together two vertebrae in his spine. They decided they weren't comfortable in clearing Collins to return and sorrowfully parted ways.

Little has changed for Collins since that day. He appears to come to some sort of peace in not being able to play again, even though he wishes that weren't the case.

The fact is, the Packers weren't the only team in the NFL that didn't want to take the risk of Collins not playing. Since being released, Collins could have signed anywhere in the NFL he wanted in each of the past two years, but there's no suitors.

If there weren't any teams willing to give Collins a chance two years ago, it's unlikely anything's changed two years later. Now at age 30, there's also the question of whether his skills have diminished from the layoff.

Being in Green Bay, the attention is acute because of the obvious need at the position after getting subpar production from Morgan Burnett and M.D. Jennings in 2013.

Like anything in football, you never say never. But unless there's reason to believe the risk of Collins being injured again has lessened, and there's no reason to believe it has, it's unlikely Packers general manager Ted Thompson is going to change his mind.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (29) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

ArodMoney's picture

If a doctor clears him I'd definitely sign him and I don't think he'd be tweeting that without word from a doctor

Point Packer's picture

I love me some Nick Collins, but the thought of Morgan Burnett and an aging Nick Collins in our defensive backfield is only more terrifying than the idea of MD Jennings being a starter next year.

Best of luck to Nick and lordy, I'm pulling for him to prove me wrong, I just think it is unlikely.

Evan's picture

It's definitely unlikely, but I'd take an "aging" Nick Collins (he'll only be 31) with a brittle neck over MD Jennings in a second.

That said, IF he were to be cleared and re-signed, that wouldn't by any means fix the safety problem. They'd still have to draft one very high - like Jolly last season, they wouldn't be able to count on him for anything.

Point Packer's picture

"It’s definitely unlikely, but I’d take an “aging” Nick Collins (he’ll only be 31) with a brittle neck over MD Jennings in a second."

Yeah, you're probably right. "Aging" may be a bit of a stretch. How about middle aged and out of football for two + years?

Evan's picture

Still take him over Jennings...ha.

D B H's picture

There's a 5ft 4in 150lb white kid that plays both ways on your local D5 high school football team that would be an upgrade over MD Jennings.

xuyee's picture

I agree. Though, by "brittle", I think you meant "titanium re-enforced." :)

Evan's picture

ha...nah. I was saying I'd take Collins with a spinal column held together with paper mache over Jennings. Basically, I'd take you over Jennings.

Point Packer's picture

There's a 6-2' middle schooler that can dunk nearby. Bet he could get a hand on at least one ball over the course of a 16 game season. I'm not saying an INT, just one pass deflection.

I bleed Green More's picture

I have watched some old video of Collins man we lost a big part of the D.

Bibbon Hazel's picture

If cleared he must be signed!

HUMP's picture

id take any starting safety in the big 10 over md jennings TODAY!!!! and that is 100 percent serious!! if anyone has some of this years games still on dvr,go back and focus solely on jennings and it will literally make you puke!! of course i said this same time last year on cheesehead tv and was greeted with.... you are overreacting hump, jennings and mcmillian got this....they just need reps. what is so hard to understand is.... how this could be overlooked by management! i have no doubt though,that nick collins could come back tomorrow and be close to pro bowl is very easy to evaluate.....; speed,instincts and toughness equal great safetys(nick collins). jennings has ZERO of the aforementioned!!!

mark in montana's picture

Man, there hasn't been this kind of fan vitriol against a young Packers safety since a young...Nick Collins.

Marlow's picture

If the Packers aren't comfortable signing Nick as a player, why not as a coach? It would get him back into football,and I think he could make a very meaningful contribution with young guys who have talent that needs to be developed.

Point Packer's picture

Not all good players = good coaches.

That's why.

cLowNEY42's picture


beardownpackup's picture

Just.... "no"?! Your sensationalism is showing Cow... If he's cleared to play, I'm sure even you would admit the Packers should at least have him at camp. 3 Pro Bowls in a row before getting injured trumps your hater card.

Bert's picture

Love to have him back but too much liability for the Packers or any team to risk. With so much attention on player safety bringing him back would not be a good PR move for the team or the NFL. I doubt if it will happen.

beardownpackup's picture

Player safety?! Bahaha... this is football. There is no such virtue. Just give me a safety that's a player. Give me Nick Collins.

Phatgzus's picture

Exactly, "Player Safety" is just Leaguespeak for team owner pocketbook protection.

Uncle Louie's picture

If he gets medically cleared sign him. Take a chance, he'll probably sign an inexpensive contract due to his medical condition. I'm 52 and had a lumbar spinal fushion surgery ( disc L5 and S1) last year, I was off work for 9 months. My job consist of heavy lifting, bending and twisting all day long and my back feels better than ever. I'm playing golf and can do everything with no restrictions. I sure wouldn't participate in any contact sports, but that's Collins choice if he's cleared to play.

Bert's picture

Sure it's his choice to play just like it's the Packers choice to say "no we don't want to take the risk." If he is cleared by the Packers medical staff great. Until then, it doesn't matter who else clears him to play.

Phatgzus's picture

Happy for your health but, unfortunately, the lumbar region just isn't as important as the cervical. Furthermore, you're not exactly throwing yourself headlong at 200-250lb. men traveling in the opposite direction whilst the both of you are moving at 15-20 mph.

Uncle Louie's picture

Thanks Phatgzus! And I agree with you, I wouldn't advise Collins to play again. My surgeon told me to avoid contact sports. But at my age I had to laugh when he told me this. Just stay healthly Nick and spend time with your family.

RunAndHyde's picture

We would be holding our breath on every play (much like when Aaron came back this year).

Evan's picture

Aren't we doing that anyway...for a much different reason, of course.

beardownpackup's picture

The bitter truth is a funny one.

Ranch Tooth's picture

I love Nick, but man. Just let it go, already.

This is why it's generally a good idea to have a plan for life after football.

HUMP's picture

fairly certain that peyton manning had surgery to same area of spine and is 8 yrs older. a doctor would not clear any player to return if said player was at anymore risk than anyone else on the field. if the doc says its a go,get nick collins on the first plane to green bay and lets get him ready for some fkn football!!!

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