Green Bay Packers Release Safety Nick Collins

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Nick Collins has been released by the Packers

The Green Bay Packers have released free safety Nick Collins today according to a report from Jason Wilde at ESPN-Milwaukee.  This decision has been hanging around us all since Collins saw his season end just two games in after suffering a severe neck injury against the Carolina Panthers.

Collins was one of the most beloved Packers on the entire roster, and his overall performance on the field is what caused so many fans to fall in love with him as a player.  Collins was voted to three straight Pro Bowls heading into the 2011 season, and was also a member of three straight All-Pro Teams.

No one will ever forget his interception that was returned for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLV against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  It was that play that was the catalyst for the Packers to bring the Lombardi Trophy home after so many years.

Now the Packers need to figure out what to do without Collins, and it’ll all start tomorrow with the 2012 NFL draft.  Instead of being able to focus on outside linebacker and defensive line early in the draft, Ted Thompson and the Packers will now need to add safety to their positions of greatest need for the 2012 season.

Some names to keep an eye on in the first or second round for Green Bay are Harrison Smith, George Iloka and Brandon Taylor.  Each of these prospects could eventually replace the production that fans were used to seeing from Collins.

Whatever happens in the upcoming days, there are two things that we can be assured of.  One is that the Packers will figure out how to survive without Collins.  They went 15-1 without him last year, and now they’ll be prepared.

Secondly, we can be assured that Collins will always be remembered as one of the greatest defensive players in Packers history, despite only playing a few seasons for the team.  He was simply that talented, and he’ll be missed by all.

 

 

  • JimR_in_DC

    I miss him already! Good post, Matthew. I’m very sad to see the Packers lose Nick Collins. I wish him great success in whatever direction he goes from here.

    • Matthew J Stein

      Thanks, Jim. It’s a tough pill to swallow.

  • ThomasMagnumPI

    I guess we all can take solace in the fact that TT and Co. had planned for this eventuality for the entire offseason. I really don’t see S as quite as glaring of need as most people, but maybe that’s just my rose-colored glasses. If Wood is going to be moved to safety at some point, there’s no better time than the present. I don’t know if GB can get by with Shields, Williams and a new nickel corner (Bush? say it ain’t so!) with their current personnel but GB has options.

    Also, the strength of the other parts of the defense (namely a good pass rush) would do wonders to mask some of the unit’s weaknesses. I still think the correct move is to invest as much of the team’s draft capital into the defensive front 7 early on and then let the chips fall where they may for the rest of the draft–taking value picks where possible and building overall depth throughout the roster.

    I guess we’ll all find out tomorrow what really happens!

    • JimR_in_DC

      I can’t imagine Woodson being moved to safety anytime soon.

      • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

        And I can’t imagine it being a good idea…

        • ThomasMagnumPI

          I guess it all depends on the motivation for doing so. If it’s because he’s better at SS or FS than CB (or slot corner or whatever you want to call it) then it seems like a good idea. If the move is purely because GB has a giant hole to fill then not so much.

          If I look at the situation the same as the draft, GB has needs and they have players and picks. If they simply start plugging the holes in the roster with players and picks, then they’re shorting themselves for the future. However, its possible that the best of poor options is to fill the roster hole with a player already on the team and draft for depth along the entire defensive backfield. It’s possible that there is more value to be had for the team by broadening the solution to the roster problem, rather than running around, plugging holes with players, regardless of what it costs.

          Why were you thinking that it would be a poor idea, Al? Is it because of his skill-set being ill-suited to play safety or because he is so much more valuable at CB, or something else? I’m just going off of “what I hear” from other folks for the most part.

  • Ron LC

    Much like EDS is not now and never will be a starting Center, the same can be said about Pepprah being a starting safety. Huge hole to fill because Burnett has yet to show the leadership skills to required replace Collins.

    The draft is weak in starting Safety talent and it is likely who ever they get at that position is not going to be a starter unless they decide to move up aggressively in the 1st round. If they do that, they will need to take an OLB before any consideration is given to safety.

    Big loss and another problem Capers must deal with. Collins will be missed. I’m hearing rumors that he will still wants to play this year. If he plays for another team and performs well, TT and Capers better hope they fix the D problems fast.

    • ThomasMagnumPI

      So, if moving up in the 1st round to draft a S is not an option (and I don’t think it is either) and neither is filling the void from within because Pepprah is not starting caliber material (a band-aid at best IMO too) then what options does GB have?

      A) Move Wood or another guy on the roster to SS/FS

      B) Acquire a free agent/trade (before or after hell freezes over?)

      C) Draft a guy in the middle rounds.

      It seems that the situation at FS is similar to that at C this year, except TT obviously has a different strategy for addressing the issue. I hope his plan is effective for both positions.

      • Ron LC

        I’m thinking it’s going to be A and C combo.

        • ThomasMagnumPI

          Agreed. Especially with the “Hybrid” looks and Wood being a CB really only on paper since he plays all over the place.

          I don’t think the sky is falling just yet!

    • Normthe1

      I’m looking at it from another point of view.

      We wond the SB in ’10 then went 15-1 in ’11 with Peprah as a starting safety for the majority of games.

      Yes, he was better with Collins telling him what to do than with Burnett. I just think that at his best he is competent and if we get a better pass rush then he might have a chance to improve.

      Its all about the pass rush IMO…

  • Adam Czech

    Sad day.

    I hope Collins signs with another team and makes the Packers regret this decision, only because if Collins keeps playing and is successful it means he’s healthy.

    • Ron LC

      Interesting logic Adam.

    • Adam Czech

      Three dislikes for hoping a guy with a neck injury is healthy. Tough crowd!

      • ThomasMagnumPI

        This thumb down is just pure spite (if I did emoticon’s I’d give you a smiley face).

      • marpag

        I’m not trying to be a jackass here, but will you feel the same way if he comes back and gets paralyzed?

        Not one of us knows what the doctors have said. If the Packers are unwilling to endanger the health of a fine young man, even though it may damage the prospects for their football team, I respect that… a lot.

    • Ron LC

      Adam – long ago I learned not use double negative logic. Most don’t understand! :)

    • Oppy

      How about this?

      I hope Collins never plays for another team because the doctors truly don’t believe he’s out of harm’s way should he play again.

      I hope that he goes on to find another fulfilling career, and spends the rest of his days enjoying both his family and a pain-free life.

      IF he goes on to play for another team and plays well, it means that the Packers dropped the ball. Me, personally? I’d rather the Packers make the right decision and Collins go on to have a long, productive life devoid of further health complications.

  • Ron LC

    Just heard on Michael’s Show that Nick’s wife tweeted thanks to the Packer Fans for their support.

  • Dan

    Good luck Nick… How much cap room does this clear? With Clifton gone and possibly Driver, we should have a lot of Cap to sign a FA or 2 to help fill holes (if there’s anyone worth it)

    • ThomasMagnumPI

      It’s about 1000% more likely that GB uses that money to sign their own to extensions. Business as usual.

    • Matthew J Stein

      It clears a little over $3 million in cap. With Clifton gone, I believe the Packers have an extra $8 million to work with.

      • ThomasMagnumPI

        I’m pretty sure that they had just under 9 to work with following Clifton’s release, so GB should be looking at $12 million in cap room now.

  • Tarynfor12

    Since McClellin seems to be the choice of most for us as well as the Pats and Harrison Smith also being tagged as high on the Pats with their 31st pick,does anybody get a sense that NE may want to trade for our 28 to ensure getting both,since with the Collins issue solved,they must sense TT may take Smith and trade up in the 2nd for the DL or OLB.
    This way TT still gets the 31st and adds better ammo from NE trade to get a another 2nd rd pick.
    Having the 31st and two 2nds…

  • PackersRS

    I’m still hoping that Collins will be cleared in the future, if not this year the next, and then he’ll re-sign with the Packers.

    And before people point out how dumb that is, let a fool dream…

  • Chad Toporski

    I will not only remember the interception in the Super Bowl, but his celebration afterwards. Screw the penalty, he earned the right to be ecstatic about that play.

  • Bearmeat

    I just hope he retires. I do not want to see him play for another team. Especially if that team is in the NFCN. (Don’t the Vikings have a long history of signing Packers draftees?

  • Nasanehiga

    This was in all accounts a bad move. The one thing about all these draft prospects is that it takes time to develop a player in to this pro-bowl calibur prospect. That just doesn’t happen overnight. Keep him (Collins) on in some capacity to help the younger talent and see where he is exactly in terms of his recovery. If they would have seen significant improvement then let him play. If not, then let the rest of the NFL decide if they want to gamble on him. But, just not this season.
    This game is a players livelyhood. Most players have done this their whole life. Then to have a team try and take that away… you can almost bet Collins signs with another team.
    Getting back to the personnel issue, another thing a lot of people don’t realize is that we still have depth. Their are other players waiting in the wings for their shot at being a roster player for this team. The practice squad is a great pool of players as evidence by the talent we stock in WR. What about the players we put on IR last year. Why keep a liability if it means cap space or releasing a younger player who can contribute? The IR players still get access to the locker room, training staff and facility to heal for the following season. They are there for a reason. Someone may have already been in mind when signed to the team. Can you tell me anything on Shaky Smithison or Lawrence Guy? Did anyone here see what their potential can be? I’m just using these players as examples, but you get my train of thought.
    And that’s not including a full off season this year. Now we will see what will happen with a player getting more better quality coaching with a complete off-season and OTA’s.
    IMO, the Pack does a great job with personnel, but every once in a while we get a bad decision and it costs us dearly in the end. (Cullen Jenkins anyone? We’re lucky they didn’t get cohesive enough last year. Watch out for the Eagles this year though.)
    We need to stop giving our veteran presence away and utilize the training and experience these men can give the next up and coming players. Most veterans are better coaches then the guy who thinks up the schemes. They can tell the younger guys when to twist a hip or throw an arm, little things that really make a big difference in the end.
    We will probably see Collins in another uniform this season. So may his luck and fortune be great and many.

    I miss him already….

  • ted, of bill and ted

    who would like to see bush moved to safety? he’s always done better with the action in front of him…

    • Oppy

      Bush has already been cross trained (and played some snaps) at safety.

      It is a possibility that the Packers have already explored over the last few years.

  • mj127

    I still think this is an issue with Nick’s health and nothing more. I can see GB offering Nick a position as a coach and use his knowledge to teach the young guys. After a year, they may take another look and offer him a roster spot. It’s just like putting him on IR without the stigma and he stays in the fold. With the issue of player safety being so prevalent in the NFL, I don’t really blame them for their actions.

    • Oppy

      I would be shocked if there is any real value in Nick Collins’ coaching of the safeties in comparison to Darrin Perry’s tutelage.

      What separates Nick Collins from so many other safeties in the league was his raw athleticism, not his technique or understanding of the game, despite what the talking heads may say.

      Perry’s understanding of the position, the techniques, and the scheme should be far more complete than Nick Collins.

  • Big T

    lets play without a safety, defense can only be better than last year..