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Kerry Collins retires

Kerry Collins AP

After suggesting a willingness to return to the Titans for another season as the starter, veteran quarterback Kerry Collins has decided instead to retire from the NFL.

“After 16 fulfilling years of playing quarterback in the NFL, I am officially announcing my retirement from professional football,” Collins said in a statement released by Athletes First, the agency that represents him.  “The past several months have brought much introspection, and I have decided that while my desire to compete on Sundays is still and always will be there, my willingness to commit to the preparation necessary to play another season has waned to a level that I feel is no longer adequate to meet the demands of the position.”

(Sounds like something Brett Favre would say.  Three or four times.)

Drafted fifth overall by the Panthers out of Penn State in 1995, Collins has spent the last five seasons with the Titans.  He appeared in 10 games, starting seven, in 2010.  He also played for the Saints, Giants, and Raiders, leading New York to a berth in Super Bowl XXXV.

“I feel very fortunate to have played with and to have been coached by some of the greatest the game has ever seen,” Collins added.  “I feel especially fortunate to have played under some of the true patriarchs of the modern game:  Joe Paterno, the late Wellington Mara, Al Davis and Bud Adams.  I would like to thank all of the coaches, players and other team personnel along the way who have shaped me both personally and professionally.  I want to wish Mike Munchak and the Tennessee Titans the best of luck in the future.  I have had a fantastic five years here, and my family and I look forward to remaining part of the Middle Tennessee community has been extremely gracious towards us and an honor to play for.”

Just last month, Collins said he would be willing to return to the Titans as the starter.  It’s possible that he has been told, despite the no-contact rules of the lockout, that no such promises would or could be made.

And so the quarterback depth chart in Tennessee will lose the two men who have topped it since 2006:  Collins and Vince Young.  Moving forward, the job will fall to Jake Locker, Rusty Smith, and whichever veteran the team signs.

Collins finishes ninth on the all-time completion list with 3,439 (he’s ahead of Joe Montana and Dan Fouts), ninth in pass attempts with 6,163 (also ahead of Montana and Fouts), eleventh in passing yardage with 40,441 (behind Montana and Fouts but ahead of Jim Kelly, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, and Kurt Warner), 29th in passing touchdowns with 206, and 28th in interceptions with 195.

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50 Responses to “Kerry Collins retires”
  1. berniemadoffsides says: Jul 7, 2011 2:14 PM

    Matt Hasselbeck should probably look into booking a flight to Tennessee in a couple of weeks…

  2. eaglesfootballfan says: Jul 7, 2011 2:16 PM

    I saw this comming. The Titans drafted Locker and most likely will trade or realease Vince Young and they were not going to make Kerry Collins the Backup.

  3. clblay78 says: Jul 7, 2011 2:18 PM

    Pretty nice career for the Penn St. alum. I cannot think of any other recent QB’s that have had success from Penn St.

  4. mattman56 says: Jul 7, 2011 2:19 PM

    Thanks for the memories. Not a bad qb, after her got his life straightened out

  5. skoobyfl says: Jul 7, 2011 2:20 PM

    Cue the he wasn’t going to start in TN anyways hate, which just wasn’t the case.

  6. rascalmanny says: Jul 7, 2011 2:22 PM

    LOVED Collins but glad he’s gone so the titans can move on.

    THANK YOU KERRY FOR ALL YOU DID FOR OUR TITANS!!!

  7. seabreezes51 says: Jul 7, 2011 2:22 PM

    I was gonna make a smart azz drinking joke, but truth is, the guy turned his life around after some rough years.
    I hope he was financially intelligent and has a good retirement.

  8. hooskerdo says: Jul 7, 2011 2:22 PM

    Please, please have a season this year! This train wreck will be too good to miss out!

  9. yeti47 says: Jul 7, 2011 2:23 PM

    The reason why i started liking my favorite team (Carolina)has retired. My favorite player is no longer a football player. Thank you Kerry for your time.

  10. tommyf15 says: Jul 7, 2011 2:23 PM

    Collins should add his name to the anti-trust suit now that he has nothing to lose by going so.

  11. trbowman says: Jul 7, 2011 2:23 PM

    He’ll make a spot start at somepoint this season.

  12. wheresmyjuice says: Jul 7, 2011 2:23 PM

    Congratulations on a great career Kerry. I hope you enjoy retirement. See you there in 40 years.

  13. yelix says: Jul 7, 2011 2:29 PM

    Not a Hall of Fame player by any means, but a good example of how a player can turn things around in the twilight of his career and play well. Hope he enjoys retirement.

  14. tjacks7 says: Jul 7, 2011 2:33 PM

    A couple of weeks ago, you were only interested in being a starting QB. Now, your not adequate enough? Hmm.

  15. dwalsh5134 says: Jul 7, 2011 2:35 PM

    Let the Brett Favre speculation begin. The Titans took a chance on Randy Moss last season. I wonder if they are willing to take a chance on another self-centered, aging star. Favre does have roots in the South.

    But I agree that Hasselbeck is the more likely option.

  16. ravensfan4life52 says: Jul 7, 2011 2:37 PM

    it’s too bad. he’s a classy guy. great career. enjoy your retirement, you’ve earned it.

  17. citizenstrange says: Jul 7, 2011 2:40 PM

    Good luck and God bless to the ex Nittany Lion!

  18. pftstory says: Jul 7, 2011 2:44 PM

    Is he going to sign a 1 day contract so he can reture as a member of the…Heck why not the Packers? He can retire as a member of the SB champs!

    Or are these 1 day contracts meaningless tripe?

  19. burgandyandgold says: Jul 7, 2011 2:45 PM

    McNabb to Titans – throw haynesworthless into the mix and be done with both these tools. Skins should do it for a bag of footballs and a pack of gum.

  20. Soulman45 says: Jul 7, 2011 2:47 PM

    Leaving retired after 16 years not a bad out come a good career enjoy your retirement.

  21. randysavage4ever says: Jul 7, 2011 2:53 PM

    DANG.

    just 2 seasons ago he had the Titans at 13-0 and maybe undefeated, we all forgot about that already.

    That was Kerry & Jeff Fishers year to win it, instead Baltimore upset them in a close game, and as usual loses to Pitt in the playoffs, and Pitt gets the easy road to a ring without having to play the #1 seed in all of the playoffs that year.

    ALSO…

    It aint your fault it didnt work out with the Raiders, the team fell apart under Norv Turner, Collins actually played pretty well and was clicking with Randy Moss early in the season, but losing so many close games that year took its toll and the team fell apart…

    But dang, that titans year in 09- they shoulda had it.

  22. bowwserr says: Jul 7, 2011 2:55 PM

    Kerry Collins was a mess. Then he wasn’t a mess. Then he retired. Major props to him for goin out the right way, instead of leaving behind a reputation of being a trainwreck. Best of luck to him.

  23. birdobeamen says: Jul 7, 2011 2:55 PM

    The absolute BEST Quarterback in Penn State HISTORY! Best of luck in the future Kerry, hopefully Warren Sapp doesn’t try to fight you in the parking lot after your retirement ceremony

  24. minormillikin says: Jul 7, 2011 2:59 PM

    Enjoy retirement Mr. Collins.

    You will go down in history with guys like Steve DeBerg, Vinny Testeverde, Dave Krieg, Jim Harbaugh, and Jim Kelly.

    Those are all guys who had good, long, NFL careers and, for whatever reason, the very sight or mention of them makes me drowsy.

  25. CKL says: Jul 7, 2011 3:02 PM

    “(Sounds like something Brett Favre would say. Three or four times.)”
    ____________________________________
    Actually it IS pretty much what Warner said when he retired. Favre would never admit he didn’t want to prepare. He’s passive aggressive. He simply wouldn’t show up to prepare and leave it up to all the coaches who coddled him to explain that No, Brett won’t be @ TC,” etc.

  26. monkeyjuice313 says: Jul 7, 2011 3:05 PM

    This may be a little off subject. Has anyone ever thought George Lopez was funny, EVER? I don’t understand why he has a show.

    Kerry will be a coach! He’s just retired from playing. I’ll bet he’ll be a damn good coach, too.

  27. ac0117 says: Jul 7, 2011 3:06 PM

    Having to mentor VY then Locker? Don’t blame him.

  28. eballa1 says: Jul 7, 2011 3:07 PM

    Wait, he didn’t thank Ditka?

  29. stairwayto7 says: Jul 7, 2011 3:23 PM

    Great man and very underrated QB. Thanks for Penn State fans, hopefully you can take over for Jay Pa as coordinator!

  30. tommyf15 says: Jul 7, 2011 3:35 PM

    birdobeamen says:
    The absolute BEST Quarterback in Penn State HISTORY!

    It’s really close, but I would say Michael Robinson.

  31. kevpft says: Jul 7, 2011 3:47 PM

    His stats underscore the reality – a reality that all of us hero-worshipping NFL fans don’t like to think about – that becoming a “legend” in the NFL has an awful lot to do with the circumstances you’re given.

    Would Montana have done what he did on Kerry Collins’ teams? Would Collins have done what Montana did if he had Montana’s teams? We’ll never know, but the answer is that if you pluck a “legend” out of his context, he becomes something besides what he was.

    That’s not to say that legends don’t earn their acclaim. But they are the right people for the right job, at the right place, at the right time. No one in a competitive sport is truly a ‘self-made man’. Even in solo sports like tennis, you have different sets of leading competitors to contend with every few years, so context matters. No one transcends the game.

  32. Deb says: Jul 7, 2011 3:54 PM

    One of the more productive journeyman careers, and as many have said, a terrific example of turning negatives into positives. Enjoyed watching him put on a fine show in Tennessee at the end of his career. Best of luck in retirement, Kerry!

  33. nationalmediacansuckit says: Jul 7, 2011 4:22 PM

    I must admit as a Jaguars fan Kerry Collins was a thorn in our ass. It seems more times than not Vince Young would either get hurt or be playing horrible and Collins would come in and pick us apart. Not that that was hard to do over the past few years with our weak secondary. Regardless he seemed like the ultimate professional while with the Titans.

  34. berniemadoffsides says: Jul 7, 2011 4:23 PM

    As a Giants fan, this guy still gives me nightmares…

  35. goldrush36 says: Jul 7, 2011 4:38 PM

    @kevpft………. You have a pretty solid point, but I don’t think Montana is a great example to use. Afterall, the 49ers weren’t true talent powerhouses until the end of his tenure there. He did have a great coaching staff though. He also had a pretty sensational stint with a much less talented KC team to finish his career.

  36. fatguystrangler says: Jul 7, 2011 4:47 PM

    Quarterbacked the last truly great Nittany Lion team (How many NFLer’s came off that team??) that got robbed of the Nat’l Title.

    Played 16 seasons, the dude had a cannon.
    I was glad that he got life untracked after his rough patch.

    Enjoy your retirement, Mr. Collins.

  37. melonnhead says: Jul 7, 2011 5:05 PM

    Nice guy, but though it was long, he had a pretty average career as an NFL QB. His career passer rating is buried somewhere between Alex Smith and Tarvaris Jackson.

  38. johnnyjagfan says: Jul 7, 2011 5:44 PM

    I hate the Titans. Kerry was a class act and a solid QB. My best memory of him is as a Giant, though in that Super Bowl against that Ravens team that ripped up the playoffs as a wildcard and finished the job. Great career–16 years. In the NFL. At QB. Enjoy retirement.

    Can’t wait to face the Titans twice this year.

  39. tformation says: Jul 7, 2011 5:52 PM

    Ah, I remember the “heart’s not in it” days vividly. How quickly he turned that nonsense around. Enjoy your retirement, Kerry. Best wishes there, bud.

  40. gcsuk says: Jul 7, 2011 6:01 PM

    If only Tiki Barber was so gracious in retirement.

  41. prmpft says: Jul 7, 2011 6:07 PM

    …good Luck to K.C. – He had a long and up & down career, and overcame a great deal of adversity – but finished like a professional…I am not a titans fan – but hope the best for him and his family…

  42. pmars64 says: Jul 7, 2011 6:12 PM

    What, no love for Jerry Richardson Panthers owner? Did anyone else catch that, in his statement, he thanked everyone EXCEPT Richardson? He started his career there.

    He also skipped Benson/Ditka of the Saints but he only played 1/2 season with them in 98, although he may still hold the record for longest TD pass thrown by a Saint. He did set it at the time (against Dallas).

  43. corvusrex96 says: Jul 7, 2011 6:16 PM

    Collins,
    From one PSU alum to another , congrats on a good career!

    From a Ravens fan to the former QB of the Giants. Thanks again (34-7) !

  44. rogerbrad says: Jul 7, 2011 6:59 PM

    I feel that this is the first LOCKOUT casualty.
    There may be more…who knows.

  45. lee7786 says: Jul 7, 2011 8:14 PM

    As a Titans fan, this is the best news that I have heard all offseason. To say that it is time to move forward is an understatement. It was time to move forward in 2009. The thought of having Kerry Collins as the starting Quarterback going into 2011 sent shivers down my spine and sent me into the depths of despair. It was like watching a train wreck every Sunday, and a pathetic attempt at an offense for an NFL football team. Kerry Collins handcuffed this offense so bad that the team was incapable of moving the ball against air. It was a good series if the offense didn’t move backwards. There was no way that I could watch another year of that. No other team in the NFL would even consider having Collins start for them. Finally, this team is free to move forward. FINALLY, THANK YOU!!!! In all seriousness, I’m sure Kerry Collins is a great guy, but he has no business starting for an NFL team.

  46. hatesycophants says: Jul 7, 2011 8:37 PM

    A class act? A great man? Why is it that when it comes to some players your memories are short, but when it comes to others, ya never forget?

    Kerry Collins isn’t fit to carry Scott Mitchell’s jock.

  47. MichaelEdits says: Jul 7, 2011 8:51 PM

    I guess his heart isn’t in it.

  48. mdnittlion says: Jul 7, 2011 10:36 PM

    As a guy that grew up in the same neighborhood, went to the same middle school, high school and college I remember him being the hometown hero especially back in the 90′s. I also remember the town hoping he would win the Super Bowl so they could throw a parade in his honor. Now everybody in the old neighborhood is hoping Chad Henne wins the big one so they can finally throw that parade they’ve had postponed since 2001.

    And for the record I knew his family growing up and his old man was a huge drunk, racist jack off. The fact that Kerry didn’t end up in a trailer park cooking meth was kind of a surprise. I know my sister still has that football he signed for her back when they were in high school together.

  49. diablito0402 says: Jul 8, 2011 1:06 AM

    He was still in the league last year,,, geeez i thought he was gone about 4 years ago.

  50. lgwelsh1 says: Jul 8, 2011 12:21 PM

    Kerry had a great career. 16 years is a long time in the NFL

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