Seven years ago today, many of us assumed that veteran NFL quarterback Kerry Collins was officially walking away from the game. That didn’t end up being the case.
The long-time quarterback really doesn’t need an introduction. After being selected with the fifth-overall pick by Carolina in the 1995 draft, the Penn State product’s professional career would end up stretching more than 15 seasons. Come 2011, the signal-caller was wrapping up a relatively successful tenure with the Titans.
Following stints with the Panthers, Saints, Giants, and Raiders, Collins had joined Tennessee on a one-year contract in 2006. With the Titans having recently used their third-overall pick on quarterback Vince Young, Collins ended up being shuffled in and out of the team’s starting lineup during his time with the team. This included a 2008 campaign that saw him make the Pro Bowl and lead the Titans to an AFC South title.
The Titans got off to an 0-6 start during the 2009 season, prompting Titans owner Bud Adams to request that Collins be replaced by Young. The 2006 first-rounder led his team to five straight wins, although the veteran regained his role the following season. Collins ended up appearing in 10 games (seven starts) in 2010, completing 57.6-percent of his passes for 1,823 yards, 14 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. On July 7th, 2011, Collins ended up announcing his retirement from the NFL, and the Titans reset their quarterback depth chart with Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker.
Collins’ retirement was short-lived, as the veteran inked a one-year, $4MM contract with the Colts in late August. Peyton Manning was recovering from offseason neck surgery (a procedure that would force him to miss the entire campaign), so Collins slid into the starting role for the start of the regular season. He ended up showing his age during his Indy stint, leading his team to an 0-3 record in his three starts. Collins completed only 49-percent of his passes for 481 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.
Collins landed on the Colts’ injured reserve after suffering a concussion in October, and he was released by the team the following March. Collins subsequently announced his second retirement, and this time he didn’t back out of the decision. The now-45-year-old ranks in the top-15 all-time in completions and passing yards.