Collins puts closure on his Packers' career

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Six months ago, former Green Bay Packers safety Nick Collins was holding out hope of returning to the NFL.

On Tuesday, he officially gave up the dream.

Collins, who turned 31 last Saturday, announced his retirement from the NFL on Twitter.

He last played in an NFL game in Week 2 of the 2011 season, when he sustained a neck injury that required surgery to fuse his C-3 and C-4 vertebrae. The Packers released him on April 25, 2012, after their doctors would not clear him.

Collins was 28 at the time of his injury and was coming off his third straight Pro Bowl appearance.

Earlier this year, Collins tweeted that he was "ready for action" and that any team "looking for a top notch safety this kid is ready to dominate."

Then in a Feb. 5 interview with ESPN.com, Collins confirmed his interest in returning to the NFL.

"I'm optimistic about it," Collins said at the time. "My whole purpose for sending that tweet out is to just let teams know that if they're willing to take a chance, I'm open to it."

Collins, a former second-round pick, never got another chance to play and perhaps his decision to announce his retirement was to provide some closure for him and his family.

Last January, Collins returned to Lambeau Field for the Packers’ playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers and was introduced to a loud ovation.