Unlike last year, when he didn’t participate in any of the Green Bay Packers’ OTAs because he wanted a new contract, safety Nick Collins has decided to take a different approach despite his status as a restricted free agent.
On Tuesday, Collins signed his $3.3 million tenure and took himself off the free agent market. The move isn’t that significant for the Packers from a business standpoint – the price, had anyone else wanted to sign Collins, was a first and third round draft pick, which made him untouchable. However, it is a significant gesture by Collins, who plans to take part in the Packers entire offseason program, when some thought he might hold out into training camp.
“Based on the tender Nick received and based on Nick’s desire to stay with the Packers and to take part in the off-season program, which is something he really wanted to do, he elected to sign the tender,” Collins’ agent, Alan Herman said. “Nick really likes it in Green Bay and wants to stay there. Hopefully, this will help us finalize a deal as we move forward.”
The move was made as a symbolic gesture to help spur negotiations on a long-term deal, something the Packers most certainly want to get done. That said, it’s something most restricted free agents would never dream of doing because not signing their tender is their only leverage in negotiations. Being unsigned means they don’t have to take part in team activities and can be a distraction to the team and use the media as a negotiating tool.
The Packers won’t have to worry about any of that in Collins’ case and the move is likely to get talks moving faster than his pouting routine did last summer.