As it stands, the Green Bay Packers are in need of a free safety. Next week, they're going to find out exactly how big of a need it is. Nick Collins, who suffered a season-ending neck injury early in the 2011 season, will be evaluated by doctors early next week. Collins underwent spinal fusion surgery on September 27 and has made progress, but it's unclear whether or not he can continue his NFL career.
Most likely, Collins will know next week whether or not a return to professional football is possible, and we will know if he will attempt to make a comeback or retire from the game. The position that Collins plays puts him at significant risk for another neck injury and he has four young children, so even if doctors tell him that he has made enough progress to begin working out seriously, he might opt to walk away from the game if he isn't 100 percent healthy.
If Collins ops to retire or the team decides to cut him, they will save $4 million in cap space. The cap hit is small if Collins is released because his deal was extremely front-loaded.