July 9, 2011

Kerry Collins Retires After Sixteen Seasons

By - Brian Harrington

Tennessee Titans quarterback Kerry Collins has announced his retirement from the NFL after sixteen seasons in the league. As a Titans fan, I hate to see him go. Especially after the team just drafted QB Jake Locker with their first pick. He would definitely benefit from some veteran guidance.

Photo by: Getty Images
I've liked Collins ever since he was drafted 5th overall out of Penn State by the Carolina Panthers back in 1995. Even through his bout with alcoholism, I really liked the guy. I always felt that he had a lot of undue pressure put on him by being the first quarterback taken by a brand new team.

After two dismal stints in Carolina and then being picked up on waivers by the New Orleans Saints in 1998, his career seemed all but done. He was signed by the New York Giants in 1999 and started the season as the second stringer, but claimed the starting job soon after. In 2000, he led the Giants all the way to Super Bowl XXXV, but lost to the Baltimore Ravens 34-7.

He was released by the Giants in 2004, mainly because they had just signed Kurt Warner and drafted Eli Manning. He was then signed by the Oakland Raiders, but went only 7-21 as the starter primarily because those teams were awful. He was later cut to clear cap room.

In August of 2006, he was signed by the Titans. He had his best season of his career in 2008, going 13-3 and making the playoffs with a first round bye, before losing to the Ravens 13-10. In 2009, the Titans started the season 0-6, capped off by a 59-0 beat down by the New England Patriots in a snowstorm at Foxboro. After that game, former Titans coach Jeff Fisher said he was pressured by owner Bud Adams to replace Collins with Vince Young, a move he greatly despised.

Here are some career highlights:

• Earned a Pro Bowl appearance in 1996 after he led the Panthers to the NFC Title Game in just his second season as a signal caller in the NFL.

Photo by: Terry Schmitt
• In 2000, Collins passed the 3,000-yard marker for the first time in his career and posted a career-high 22 touchdowns as he led the Giants to Super Bowl XXXV.

• In 2002 with the Giants, Collins enjoyed the most prolific season by a quarterback in Giants history. He set a team record, was first in the NFC and was fourth in the NFL with 4,073 passing yards, surpassing Phil Simms' 1984 record of 4,044 yards. His 545 pass attempts were the second-highest total in team history behind his own 2001 mark of 568 attempts. Collins recorded career-highs in 2002 for completions (335), completion percentage (61.5 percent), passing yards (4,073) and passer rating (85.4).

• In 2005, Collins started fifteen games and attempted 565 passes, the second-most in Raiders history (618 by Rich Gannon in 2002). He passed for 3,759 yards with 20 touchdowns on 302 completions. It was the sixth consecutive season in which he passed for more than 3,000 yards.

• In 2008, the veteran signal caller earned his second career Pro Bowl selection after starting the final fifteen games and leading the Titans to the NFL’s best record. Collins finished the season with an 80.2 passer rating, the third-best mark of his career, and he became just the fifteenth player in NFL history to surpass 35,000 career passing yards.

• At Kansas City on December 26th, 2010, he moved past Joe Montana (3,409 career completions) for ninth place on the NFL’s all-time pass completions list.

• In the 2010 season finale at Indianapolis (1/2/11), he moved past Johnny Unitas (40,239 career yards) for eleventh place on the NFL’s all-time passing yards list. He reached the mark while recording his first 300-yard passing game as a member of the Titans.

• In sixteen seasons (1995-2010), Collins connected on touchdown passes with forty-seven different receivers.

Photo by: Getty Images
• He engineered thirty career game-winning performances, leading his team to victory after a fourth-quarter deficit or tie (six with the Titans).

• Collins ranks second among active quarterbacks (Peyton Manning) and eleventh in NFL history in career passing yards (40,441). He also ranks second among active players and ninth in NFL history in career pass completions (3,439).


  1. Nice post.

    I always liked Collins as well. Good guy, and in his prime, one of the more underrated QBs in the league in my estimation.

    Titans are really gonna miss him this season.

  2. Collins was a class act in his time with the Titans. I'm sorry to see him retire. I think he would make a good coach somewhere down the line.

  3. Rumor has it, he's staying in the Nashville area and pursuing his country music career. He owns a recording company here as well. But yeah I could definitely see him coaching at some point.