Free safety Nick Collins is recovering from a serious neck injury and considering a return to pro football, but it reportedly won’t be with the Green Bay Packers. The Packers told Collins this morning they plan to release him, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Packers have not yet made an official announcement on the news, but it’s been confirmed by Collins’ agent, Alan Herman.
Collins ruptured a disk in his neck in Week 2 of last season; he underwent a single-level cervical fusion in September. He’s undergone numerous tests to evaluate whether he’s ready for a return, and he definitely wants to play if possible.
Collins was due to make $4.05 million in salary and bonuses from the Packers in 2012. The team gains $3.05 million in cap space by cutting him, which will give them added flexibility going into the NFL draft tomorrow night. Collins is not subject to the waiver system, since he’s a vested veteran.
Collins, a second-round draft pick in 2005 out of Bethune-Cookman, was elected to three straight Pro Bowls from 2008 to 2010. He’s amasssed 419 tackles, 21 interceptions for 507 return yards and four touchdowns in his eight-year NFL career.