Hey Packers, Pay The Man: Extending Chillar Sends Wrong Message to Nick Collins

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Hey Packers, Pay The Man: Extending Chillar Sends Wrong Message to Nick Collins
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers locked up one of their young defensive players with a four-year deal on Monday, getting a head start on what promises to be a busy offseason.

Too bad it was linebacker Brandon Chillar celebrating a new deal and not standout safety Nick Collins.

Chillar inked the four-year, $21 million pact, which will pay him $9.5 million next year alone, through the same agency Nick Collins is represented by.

Meanwhile, as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel , negotiations with Collins and his agent Dave Butz have gone nowhere.

"There is really nothing to talk about. Nothing is going on," said Butz on Monday.

The signing of Chillar is not the issue, even if the up front money is a bit staggering for a player not considered to be elite at his position.

Chillar has proven adept at playing inside linebacker in traditional formations, safety in Capers' "Oakie" package, and is arguably the best cover linebacker on the team.

It's the Packers priorities that are out of whack.

While Chillar is a solid player whose versatility is a great asset to the defense, he isn't nearly the impact player that Collins is, and his signing sends a negative message to the soon-to-be-restricted free agent.

Along with Charles Woodson and emerging rookie linebacker Clay Matthews, Collins is one of the main playmakers on the best statistical defense in football.

After accumulating seven interceptions and three touchdowns in a breakout 2008 season, Collins has followed that campaign with six more picks in 2009.

And he's only 26.

Collins has been and continues to be a Pro Bowl player who creates turnovers and is getting beat less and less in coverage.

They need to pay the man.

Stonewalling Collins while ponying up the cash for wide receiver Greg Jennings and Chillar sends No. 36 the message that the Packers don't consider him a priority.

Considering the numbers and the overall play he has given the Packers over the past two seasons, he damn well ought to be.

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