Former Packers safety Nick Collins officially retires from NFL

Former Packers safety Nick Collins was a second-round pick by the Packers in 2005. In his seven-year career, he had 21 interceptions, six forced fumbles, 67 passes defensed and 419 tackles.

Jeff Hanisch/Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Nick Collins held out hope for as long as he could, but the former Green Bay Packers safety has retired from the NFL.

Collins underwent C3/C4 neck fusion surgery soon after an injury suffered in Week 2 of the 2011 season forced him to be carted off the field. The Packers released Collins on April 25, 2012.

Since then, Collins has tried to work his way back into the NFL and onto Green Bay’s roster. In February, Collins tweeted, "Who’s looking for a top notch free safety? This kid is ready to dominate 2014."

Those declarations did nothing to change Collins’ outlook, though. The Packers, along with the other 31 teams in the NFL, just couldn’t give him medical clearance.

"I’m officially announced my retirement from the NFL," Collins posted on Twitter on Tuesday night. "I also would like to thank my family, friends, and the Packer Nation for the love and support."

Collins’ resume included three Pro Bowl selections and being named a second-team All-Pro three times. He also had a big role in winning a Super Bowl ring in 2011 when his 37-yard interception return for a touchdown helped Green Bay beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Collins, who turned 31 years old this week, was a second-round pick by the Packers in 2005. In his seven-year career, he had 21 interceptions, six forced fumbles, 67 passes defensed and 419 tackles.

Follow Paul Imig on Twitter