Former Green Bay Packers star Nick Collins has set his sights on a comeback to the NFL, and sent out two tweets the day after Super Bowl XLVIII to sound out any potential suitors, reports ESPN.
The 30-year-old safety retired from the professional game after suffering a serious neck injury in Week 2 of the 2011 season. He was later released by the Packers in April 2012 after doctors refused to clear him to return following cervical fusion surgery.
However, after announcing that he's "ready for action" and that any team "who's looking for a top notch free safety this kid is ready to dominate", Collins's intention to make a return is suddenly becoming very real.
"I'm optimistic about it," he said in a telephone interview with ESPN.com on Wednesday. "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.
"I'm 100 per cent healed from the surgery, so if teams want to bring me in and get me evaluated by their doctors - or whatever doctors they want me to go see - then I'll do that for them.
"That was the whole purpose, to let them know I'm still out there and I'm still optimistic about playing."
Collins was at the peak of his career when he suffered that terrible neck injury, coming off his third straight Pro Bowl appearance, and in the second year of a $23million three-year contract extension at Lambeau Field.
It's unlikely that the Packers will have much interest in re-signing the safety, despite the fact he's still regarded as a fans' favourite, and has kept himself in good shape while away from the game.
"I've stayed in shape because I still have the desire," Collins continued. "It's up and down, but I still have the desire.
"My kids come up to me and say, 'Daddy, you should be out there'. I think that's what pushes me even harder to try to get another chance out there and let them see me doing what I love to do the most, and that's play football."
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