If Nick Collins is unhappy about his contract situation, he didn’t show a hint of it on Wednesday.
On Monday, the Packers handed linebacker Brandon Chillar a four-year contract extension. While Chillar is in only his second season with the Packers and is a valuable reserve, Collins is in his fifth season with the Packers and has more interceptions than any safety in the NFL over the last two seasons.
“It’s not about me,” said Collins, whose big interception at Chicago on Sunday gave him six for the season. “This is a team. I can’t control what they think upstairs. I can only control what I can, and that’s to go out there on Sunday and do my job.”
If a new collective bargaining agreement isn’t agreed to between the league and the union by March 1, Collins will be a restricted free agent. Chillar, who’s in his sixth season, was set to be an unrestricted free agent.
Asked if he wondered why the Packers made Chillar the priority, Collins said: “Not at all. I’m blessed, that’s all. I’m thankful that I’m here, blessed that I’m here. I’ve got a lovely family that I go home to every day. That’s the only thing that matters to me — and my teammates.”
Collins said there have been no talks between the Packers and his agent, Dave Butz Jr. Still, the four-year, $21 million extension inked by Chillar is a far cry from what Collins would receive as a restricted free agent tender. Last year, the highest restricted free agent tender was worth $2.792 million. That tag would scare off most suitors because it would cost them first- and third-round draft picks in addition to a pricey contract that the Packers could choose to match.
“Everybody handles the situation differently,” Collins said. “It’s not all about the money. I come to play football and win games. If I’m blessed to have the opportunity one day to get paid, let it be. Till that day comes, I’m a Packer and I’m going out there and playing football.
“Money is nice but money is not everything.”
Crosby safe for another week
Scout.com’s Adam Caplan reported on Wednesday morning that the Packers did not work out any free-agent kickers on Tuesday.
Crosby ranks in the bottom quarter of the league with 24-of-32 accuracy on field goals. The most accomplished kicker on the street, Mike Nugent, has not been contacted by the team, his agent told Packer Report on Tuesday.
As promised, the Harris County (Texas) District Attorney’s office refiled charges against Johnny Jolly for allegedly possessing at least 200 grams of codeine.
“Man, I don’t worry about nothing,” Jolly said, adding that he didn’t think the case would impact his availability for the rest of this season. “I’ve got God on my side. I can’t trust The Man, but as long as I’ve got God, I don’t have nothing to worry about.”
Jolly has been a vital cog for the NFL’s second-ranked defense and second-ranked run defense.
“Guys are just taking care of their job the way they’re supposed to do,” he said. “When everybody’s doing their job individually, the whole team is appreciated for it. Just got to keep doing our jobs and everything will work out.”
Grant tops 1,000
With 1,068 rushing yards, Ryan Grant ranks seventh in the NFL, and his seven rushing touchdowns are tied for 12th. After a two-game lull in which he managed only 102 yards on 38 carries, he broke loose for 137 yards at Chicago.
“I’m pleased with Ryan Grant’s production,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “I think he has been very steady. We had some growing pains really as an offense. We were not in sync earlier in the year, and really I felt the No. 1 issue was we didn’t really give the run game enough attempts. If you look at the times where his carries were 18, 19, 20-plus carries, he has been very productive. To me, I say it all the time, the most important statistic for running the football is the attempts, and I think when Ryan has been given those opportunities, he has gotten into a groove and has been very productive. I think he is a very steady, solid player.”
Packers injury report
Out — LB Jeremy Thompson (neck). Did not participate — LB Nick Barnett (knee); NT Ryan Pickett (hamstring); CB Brandon Underwood (hip). Limited participation — DE Johnny Jolly (knee); CB Charles Woodson (shoulder).
McCarthy said Pickett tested and “was moving pretty well,” and how he feels on Thursday will be key in determining his availability for this week. Barnett, meanwhile, feels about the same as he did at this time last week.
“He’ll probably be limited tomorrow, and then we’ll retest him on Friday,” McCarthy said. “He has some swelling and we’re just being smart.”
Steelers injury report
Did not participate — LB James Farrior (not injury related); C Justin Hartwig (knee); S Troy Polamalu (knee); WR Limus Sweed (illness); WR Hines Ward (hamstring). Limited participation — DE Brett Keisel (neck); G Chris Kemoeatu (wrist).
Kemoeatu, who missed the Nov. 29 game against Baltimore with a sprained right knee, will not play and will be replaced by rookie Ramon Foster. Between the right knee and the right wrist, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Kemoeatu has been “ineffective” while playing “one-handed at times.”
— The Packers filled their practice squad by signing cornerback D.J. Clark. The 6-foot-1 Clark started 45 games at Idaho State and spent training camp with Carolina as an undrafted free agent. He made two tackles in four preseason games.
— Aaron Rodgers recalled playing the final round of the celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. “Sunday at Tahoe, they line up the beach on 17 and we walk down and we always sign autographs as we’re going into our last two holes of the week and it’s been a great week. So, I’m signing a ball and we’re tossing the ball to the fans, and Ben’s signing. This kid holds out his ball to me and I go over to sign it, because I was about two people down from him. He pulls it back real quick. ‘Nope, not you.’ He wanted Ben to sign it.”
— Chillar spoke to reporters for the first time since signing his contract extension. “I came here and I didn’t know what to expect, but as soon as you play one game out there (at Lambeau Field), I think everyone knows what it is about and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
— McCarthy will enjoy Christmas dinner with his family during his few hours of free time in Pittsburgh.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.