The Jake Locker era may have taken a huge step forward Thursday as the Titans only real veteran QB on the roster, Kerry Collins announced his retirement from the NFL. Collins ends a rocky 16-year career in which he played with the Titans, the Carolina Panthers (1995-98), New Orleans Saints (1998), New York Giants (1999-2003) and Oakland Raiders (2004-05).
He was the QB during the New York Giants Super Bowl run in 2001, losing to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXX and made two Pro Bowls.
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.”
The retirement leaves the Titans with a huge hole at the QB spot. For now, the team is 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.
The 39-year-old Collins had 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.