While Darryn Colledge (73) leads the way for Donald Lee against the Vikings last season, one wonders if he will be back with the team? Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Could Colledge cash in?

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Daryn Colledge, the Packers free agent left guard, could be headed out of Green Bay mostly because he doesn’t believe the team is willing to give him the bucks needed for him to stay.

In a story published yesterday on Fox Sports Wisconsin by Bill Huber, publisher of PackerReport.com, Colledge talked about his busy off-season of visiting troops overseas, the arrival of a new child in his household and about winning an NFL championship.

However,  his tone when asked about coming back to the Packers was nothing short of disappointment:

“The Packers have had a lot of years to re-sign me if they wanted to, so it looks like they might just let me go to free agency,” Colledge said. “Whether that’s a business decision or a personal decision, I don’t know. As of right now, I still get to look back at all the memories I’ve had over the past few years and all the great times we’ve had and we won a championship and did a lot of great things.

“I love my guys back there. I love the players, and I love the fans and I love the city. But it’s not my choice anymore. It’s one of those things where the Packers will make that decision. If they want me back, they’ll have me back. If they don’t, then they’ve decided they want to go another direction.”

On the field, the Packers have asked much of Colledge … and for the most part, he’s delivered. He’s been the type of blue collar player who fits the mold of the Packers. In fact, last season was the first in several where Colledge was able to concentrate on playing just one position at left guard. He admits that having to jump around to different positions on the line is difficult, especially in light of the caliber of defensive linemen the Packers line up against in division games.

Statistically, Colledge had one of his better seasons and was part of an offensive line that took some injury hits later but stabilized as the season went on and protected Aaron Rodgers on a consistent basis. The line also got better with the run game as the season progressed, especially in the playoffs when rookie James Starks stepped up the ground game … a big reason for the Packers’ eventual push to the Super Bowl.

Because of the lockout and the inability of the free agent season to unfold, it’s been difficult to predict what the Packers will do with any of their top free agents, including Colledge. But now that it appears the CBA may be signed in the near future, decisions about how to proceed will come to light quickly. Will the Packers keep Colledge or let him free to explore options. Will they secure James Jones, Brandon Jackson, Mason Crosby?

Time will tell, but that issue doesn’t seem to bother Colledge at this point. He’s willing to accept whatever happens.

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