Sweet sixteen: Collins decides to end lengthy NFL career
Quarterback Kerry Collins announced his retirement from the NFL on Thursday, ending his 16-year career and possibly speeding up the Jake Locker era for the Tennessee Titans.
Collins, the Titans' off-and-on starter since 2006, released a statement in which he said after several months of "introspection," he decided that "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."
"I want to wish Mike Munchak and the Tennessee Titans the best of luck in the future," Collins added. "I have had a fantastic five years here, and my family and I look forward to remaining part of the Middle Tennessee community that has been extremely gracious towards us and an honor to play for."
With Collins not coming back, the Titans are left with first-round draft pick Locker and second-year pro Rusty Smith at quarterback. The team said earlier this year that it would trade or release Vince Young, its 2006 first-round pick, after a tumultuous time together.
Collins, 39, enjoyed his best season with the Titans in 2008, when he took over for an injured Young and started 15 games, going 12-3 as the team won the AFC South. Collins then signed a two-year, $15 million contract that expired after the 2010 season.
Collins threw for 40,441 yards, 11th on the NFL's all-time list, with 206 touchdowns and 195 interceptions in his career. In addition to the Titans, he played for the Carolina Panthers (1995-98), New Orleans Saints (1998), New York Giants (1999-2003) and Oakland Raiders (2004-05). He led the Giants to Super Bowl XXXV (a loss to the Baltimore Ravens) and made two Pro Bowls.