Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

07 Jul 2011

Kerry Collins Retires

Former Panthers, Saints, Giants, Raiders, and Titans quarterback Kerry Collins announced his retirement from the NFL Thursday afternoon. In what was a roller coaster career both on and off the field, his legacy includes leading Carolina to the NFC Championship game in only its second year of existence, guiding the Giants to Super Bowl XXXV, and setting the single-season record for fumbles in 2001. With Collins' retirement, the Jake Locker era in Tennessee has officially begun.

Posted by: Danny Tuccitto on 07 Jul 2011

32 comments, Last at 11 Jul 2011, 3:24pm by Shattenjager

Comments

1
by dryheat :: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 3:57pm

I think his largest legacy was using a racial epithet to refer to Muhsin Muhammad.

20 years from now, that's probably all anyone will remember about Mr. Collins.

2
by Dean :: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 4:01pm

Funny, I'd largely forgotten about that.

27
by JIPanick :: Sat, 07/09/2011 - 2:38pm

Yeah, I don't even remember that now.

4
by JasonK :: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 4:08pm

I don't think that's true. The guy was a starting QB in a Super Bowl. Sure, he had a terrible game, but the 41-0 destruction of the Vikings in the NFCCG before that makes for a really nice highlight reel. People love a good redemption story, and he redeemed himself nicely into a solid (and sober) citizen and into a not-awful starting QB for the Giants. Yeah, there were some ugly moments in there, but for a franchise coming off of a half-decade of Dave Brown, Danny Kannell, and Kent Graham, he was a welcome sight.

8
by Marko :: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 6:09pm

That was the first thing I thought about when I saw the link to this XP. But I think he will be remembered for more than that.

10
by Danny Tuccitto :: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 7:57pm

Too soon?

12
by Shattenjager :: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 8:44pm

I do not remember ever hearing that story before.

I doubt many people will remember anything about him in 20 years. He'll be a name that pops up on a list of Super Bowl participant QBs and nearly everyone who reads it says, "Who?"

21
by Joe T. :: Fri, 07/08/2011 - 11:07am

Chris Chandler is saving him a seat in the support group.

22
by MilkmanDanimal :: Fri, 07/08/2011 - 11:13am

"Sorry, Kerry, you can't sit there, that's Stan Humphries' chair".

23
by dryheat :: Fri, 07/08/2011 - 11:32am

He can have Tony Eason's after the first fifteen minutes.

3
by Dean :: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 4:01pm

Hooray, actual football news!

5
by Harrison Bergeron (not verified) :: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 4:51pm

Hopefully (for Locker's sake) the Titans sign a stopgap vet to at least start the first half of the season. Locker has promise, but he strikes me as a guy who would be best served having some time to learn the system.

6
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 5:15pm

No mention of his years with Oakland throwing long bombs to Randy Moss ... sorry I mean year ...

9
by Danny Tuccitto :: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 7:55pm

No offense, but I was kind of hoping Raiderjoe would make this observation.

11
by Shattenjager :: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 8:35pm

You seem to be using your new position at FO very heavily to bait Raiderjoe.

I heartily approve.

7
by Intropy :: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 5:26pm

I will remember him primarily as the quarterback who lead an undefeated season for Penn State in 1994 that still managed to come in second in the polls to an inferior Nebraska team, the controversy over which led, by way of the Bowl Alliance, to the creation of the BCS.

16
by drobviousso :: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:42pm

Ditto.

13
by Michael LaRocca (not verified) :: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 8:52pm

I guess his heart isn't in it.

14
by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 9:20pm

Collins okay NFL carrer. Doid not like him at Pnne state. Thought was too stiff and would onyl be adequate NFl qb.

Good caretaker with Caro in 96. Look like going to become good which was surprise. But then got real crappy 1997 so thought original thinkgin was right. Then get drunk say bad thingns and wind up in Noew orleans plsying for M. Ditka.

Later get to NJ to play for Ginats. Turned life around by not abusing alcojol anymore. Get to sB 35 but stink rela real bad in game.
Go to Raiders in 2004 and 2005. Nothing special. a couple game gerat though. Threw 4 TDs vs Denber in snow game 2004 and later in same seaosn throw 5 tds vs Tits. Nothing really good in 20505 for collisn.

then finish carere as bakcup for Tenn. Always rmemeber game vs NE 2009. one of worst blowouts ever seen

17
by dryheat :: Fri, 07/08/2011 - 8:26am

It makes sense that he would have 5 TDs if he were playing against women.

15
by Tom Gower :: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 11:37pm

I'm a little surprised by the timing of the retirement. Personally, I expected him to at least listen to offers for another year and if nothing of the right kind came up to have a stealthy retirement where he just fades away. I guess the idea of going through training camp again was just too much.

I don't think he was ever more than a backup plan for the Titans this year, but he was a backup plan. I still think Matt Hasselbeck is the primary plan and don't know what the backup plan is. Starting Locker Week 1 after this offseason strikes me as an unwise plan both for 2011 and going forward.

18
by MilkmanDanimal :: Fri, 07/08/2011 - 9:55am

Somewhere, a sportswriter is penning the line, "Kerry Collins threw for over 40,000 yards in his career, almost the exact same amount as Joe Montana and Johnny Unitas. Is Kerry Collins a Hall of Famer?"

If you are anywhere near that sportswriter, please drag him outside and hit him repeatedly with a stick.

19
by Chad (not verified) :: Fri, 07/08/2011 - 10:18am
20
by MilkmanDanimal :: Fri, 07/08/2011 - 10:58am

"As it is, he has to be considered as the most underrated decent-to-very-good quarterback of the past 15 years."

No. No, he does not. Generic quick stat throw-out that probably isn't fair but I'm doing it anyways:

Kerry Collins--55.8%, 206/195 TD/INT, 6.6 Y/A.

Brian Griese--62.7%, 119/99 TD/INT, 7.0 Y/A.

Kerry Collins is Brian Griese with a longer career.

24
by Shattenjager :: Fri, 07/08/2011 - 3:34pm

I would gladly have taken Griese over him, really.
Career ANY/A+: 98 for Collins, 101 for Griese. No real difference.

p-f-r lists his most similar QBs as Jim Harbaugh and Joe Ferguson--those seem like good comps to me (admittedly without ever having seen Ferguson).

25
by Red (not verified) :: Fri, 07/08/2011 - 9:45pm

To me, Kerry Collins is like the twin QB brother of Drew Bledsoe, and I will always remember them together because of that.

*Both were mediocre QB's who inflated their perceived value by attempting a ridiculous number of passes

*Both reached one Super Bowl (as a starter) and lost

*Both of them largely sucked in the playoffs

*Both of them probably received more attention than they deserved because their SB appearances came with big market, east coast teams

*Both of them are laughably below HOF standards, yet certain ignorant media types insist they have a case anyway

26
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Sat, 07/09/2011 - 8:59am

Strangely when I read "twin QB brother of Drew Bledsoe" my immediate thought was "feet of clay" ... yet that wasn't one of your reasons ...

28
by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 07/11/2011 - 6:21am

*Both of them are laughably below HOF standards, yet certain ignorant media types insist they have a case anyway

LOled when after D. Bledsoe rteire was intervieiwed on espnews and guy ask Bledose what he thinks of chances electors elect him to hall fo fame

29
by Dean :: Mon, 07/11/2011 - 10:40am

I think "laughably below" does both men a disservice. Having said that, neither is a Hall of Famer.

30
by MJK :: Mon, 07/11/2011 - 2:39pm

I think you're underrating Bledsoe a little. It's fashionable to look at his later years, after Belichick exposed his mobility weaknesses, and pan him, and he looks even worse because Brady took over his team and immediately won a SB, but for much of his career with NE and Buffalo, Bledsoe was certainly better than "mediocre". The fact that he attempted a ridiculous number of passes, in largely cold weather open stadiums early in his career, was a testament to his skill and his coach's faith in his skill (and his coaches were guys like Parcells and Belichick, who generally can be counted on to do what works).

I wouldn't say he "largely sucked" in the playoffs, either. He had three playoff appearances, with a record of 3-3. A 3-3 playoff record is equivalent to a regular season record a bit above 0.500 (because in the playoffs, it's lose and go home). Incidentally, his regular season record was also a bit above 0.500. So he didn't perform notably worse in the playoffs than normal times. Diging deeper:

* In 1994, he did have a bad game...up against the Belichick-led Browns (Bledsoe, like Manning before he learned how to throw on his feet, always struggled against Belichick).

* In 1996, he had two very good games and let the Patriots to the SB, crushing the Steelers and the Jags in the process (to be fair, his game against the Steelers was only so-so, and Curtis Martin really carried the Pats that day, but the Steelers were a very good defense). Then he lost in the SB after playing a good first half when his coach abandoned the team and started interviewing for his next job on the sidelines.

* In 1997, he did have a bad playoff game against an elite defense, and the Pats lost a defensive nailbiter to the Steelers 7-6.

So I wouldn't say he "largely sucked"...he had ups and downs, and playoffs are such a small sample size that unless a player performs notably worse than regular seasons, it's hard to say they "suck in the playoffs" rather than "their inevitably occuring random bad game came in a one-and-done situation".

But more notably, Bledsoe revived a largely pathetic franchise. After the disaster of the 1985 SB, the Patriots descended into a black hole of sucktitude in the late 80's and the beginning of the 90's that left most fans despondent and completely destroyed their market (I was a Bills fan as a kid despite living in New Hampshire because the Patriots, when not blacked out, were truly awful).

Bledsoe changed all that. All of a sudden, the team had a franchise QB who, while never hall of fame bound and overshadowed by contemporaries like Montana, Marino, Young, and Elway, was good enough to carry the team when the defense sucked, their running game produced 2.5 ypc average, and their FG kicker was missing 60% of his kicks. Even when they lost, in the mid 90's, they were in most games they played.

31
by MJK :: Mon, 07/11/2011 - 2:43pm

There is one very impressive thing about Kerry Collins...his longevity. He is part of a very elite club of recent QB's (guys that have played in this decade) who started for more than 10 seasons. Drew Bledsoe, Brett Favre, Kerry Collins, Peyton Manning. That's all I can think of, at the moment. Pretty decent company.

32
by Shattenjager :: Mon, 07/11/2011 - 3:24pm

Donovan McNabb, Mark Brunell, Jake Plummer, Steve McNair, and Vinny Testaverde also: http://pfref.com/tiny/9hwNh

(If the link doesn't automatically do it, sort by years as a starter.)

Jim Harbaugh and Troy Aikman also had 10 years as a starter playing through 2000.