Kerry Collins

Last updated

Kerry Collins
Collins with the Tennessee Titans in 2008
No. 12, 13, 5
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (1972-12-30) December 30, 1972 (age 48)
Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:247 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school: Wilson
(West Lawn, Pennsylvania)
College: Penn State
NFL Draft: 1995  / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Passing yards:40,922
Completion percentage:55.7%
Passer rating:73.8
Player stats at  ·  PFR

Kerry Michael Collins (born December 30, 1972) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 17 seasons. A journeyman quarterback, he was a member of six teams during his career. He played college football at Penn State, where he earned All-American honors, and became a College Football Hall of Fame inductee in 2018.


Collins' most notable stints were with the Carolina Panthers, New York Giants, and Tennessee Titans. He was selected by the Panthers fifth overall in the 1995 NFL Draft and was the franchise's first draft selection. Within his second season, he helped the Panthers become the youngest NFL expansion team to clinch their division and (along with the Jacksonville Jaguars) appear in a conference championship, also earning him Pro Bowl honors. Collins became the Giants' starting quarterback between 1999 and 2003, leading them to a Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl XXXV. Following a period of limited success, Collins earned a second Pro Bowl selection for helping the Titans obtain a league-best 13–3 record in 2008. He saw less playing time amid his final three years in the NFL, retiring after the 2011 season.

Early years

Collins was born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He attended Lebanon High School, until 1987, when he transferred to Wilson High School in West Lawn, Pennsylvania, and played football, basketball, and baseball for the Wilson Bulldogs. [1]

College career

Collins attended Pennsylvania State University, where he played for coach Joe Paterno's Penn State Nittany Lions football team from 1991 to 1994. [2] As a senior quarterback in 1994, he was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American, having received first-team honors from the Associated Press, United Press International, The Football News, the Football Writers Association of America, the Walter Camp Foundation and The Sporting News. Collins also captured two of college football's major postseason prizes — the Maxwell Award, presented to the nation's outstanding player, and the Davey O'Brien Award, which goes to the nation's top quarterback. Collins finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting that year. In addition, he was chosen UPI Back-of-the-Year and garnered Player-of-the-Year honors from ABC-TV/Chevrolet and the Big Ten Conference. Collins made a serious run at the NCAA season passing efficiency record, falling just four points short (172.8), the fourth-highest figure in NCAA annals. He broke Penn State season records for total offense (2,660), completions (176), passing yardage (2,679), completion percentage (66.7), yards per attempt (10.15) and passing efficiency (172.86). He had 14 consecutive completions at Minnesota, another Penn State record. Collins was the linchpin of an explosive offense that shattered 14 school records and led the nation in scoring (47.8 ppg.) and total offense (520.2 ypg.). With 5,304 career passing yards, Collins ranks third in Penn State annals and is one of only three quarterbacks to top 5,000 yards through the air. With Collins at quarterback, the 1994 Nittany Lions completed an undefeated season, the fifth under coach Joe Paterno, capped by a Rose Bowl win over Pac-10 Champion Oregon. His team was voted #1 by the New York Times, although they were voted #2 behind undefeated Nebraska in the traditional polls (AP Poll and Coaches' Poll) used to determine Division I-A champions prior to the BCS era. In 2018, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.


1991 3650.0951100
1992 6413746.79254223
1993 12725050.81,605131172
1994 17626466.72,679217120

Professional career

Collins presently ranks 16th all-time in NFL career passing yardage and 11th all-time in NFL career passing completions. His TD:INT ratio and completion percentage were less impressive, however, resulting in passer ratings of 73.8 and 75.3 for the regular season and postseason. He was also less successful in wins and losses, finishing with a .450 regular season winning percentage and a .429 playoff winning percentage. Despite this, he defeated every NFL team except the Miami Dolphins.

Carolina Panthers

Collins was selected as the Carolina Panthers' first round pick (fifth overall) in the 1995 NFL Draft. [3] He was the first player ever chosen by the Panthers in the annual college draft, though other players—some free agents, as well as players from the expansion draft—had previously signed with the team. In his three seasons with the Panthers, he threw for 7,295 yards, 39 touchdowns, and 49 interceptions. His completion percentage was 52.6% and his quarterback rating was 65.6. In his second season, he led the Panthers to the NFC Championship Game.

Collins threw 21 interceptions during the 1997 season and the Panthers finished 7–9, just one season after advancing to the NFC Championship.

Carolina started the 1998 season with Collins as its starting quarterback. After an 0–4 start, Collins walked into head coach Dom Capers' office and, as Collins later put it, "told Coach Capers my heart's not in it, I'm not happy, and I don't feel like I can play right now." [4] He asked to be traded, but was instead placed on waivers by Carolina during the 1998 season and subsequently signed with the New Orleans Saints to finish the season with seven more starts but only two wins.

Collins would later say that he did not intend to quit the Panthers, only to sit out for a few weeks. However, Capers interpreted his request as quitting on the team and he was released. He later admitted that much of his erratic behavior was due to his struggles with alcoholism. After being arrested for drunk driving later that year, he was ordered by the NFL to seek treatment for alcohol abuse. [5]

Franchise records

Collins held or shared four Panthers franchise records As of 2017:

New York Giants

Collins started the 1999 season as the Giants' second-string quarterback behind Kent Graham, but claimed the starting job in Week 11 as Graham struggled with a 5–4 record. In the 2000 season, Collins led the Giants to Super Bowl XXXV, where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens. His performance in his lone Super Bowl appearance is among the worst in NFL history. During the 2001 season, Collins set a single-season NFL record with 23 fumbles, [6] a record tied in 2002 by then-Minnesota Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper. In 2002, Collins set the Giants single season franchise passing record with 4,073 yards; the record was broken by Eli Manning in 2011. After five seasons, 68 starts and 16,875 yards, Collins was released by the Giants in 2004. [7] The team had already signed former league MVP Kurt Warner and traded for 2004's #1 draft pick, Eli Manning.

As of 2018, Kerry Collins held at least 7 Giants franchise records, including:

Oakland Raiders

After his release from the Giants, Collins signed a three-year, $16.82 million contract with the Oakland Raiders. Collins began the 2004 season as the team's backup to Rich Gannon, but took over the starting role when Gannon suffered a neck injury in the third week of the regular season. Collins was the team's starting quarterback for the 2005 season, subsequent to Gannon's retirement. [8]

The 2005 season started off well for Collins, but he was benched after a 34–10 Week 12 loss to the San Diego Chargers. He was replaced by Marques Tuiasosopo. After Tuiasosopo's 26–10 loss at the Jets in Week 13, Collins regained his starting job in Week 14 against the Cleveland Browns (a 9–7 loss at home). After two seasons and a 7–21 record with the Raiders, Collins was cut on March 10, 2006 in what was at least partially a move designed to free space with the salary cap. [9]

Tennessee Titans

On August 28, 2006, Collins agreed to a one-year contract with the Tennessee Titans. After three games, all losses for the Titans, Collins had completed fewer than half his passes, and had thrown one touchdown and six interceptions. Vince Young, who played extensively as a substitute in the second game, started the fourth through sixth games while Collins saw no playing time in any of them. On March 5, 2007, he re-signed with the Titans.

Collins (right) and Peyton Manning at the 2009 Pro Bowl. Manning Collins Pro Bowl.jpg
Collins (right) and Peyton Manning at the 2009 Pro Bowl.

After Young was injured against Jacksonville on September 7, 2008, Collins finished the game and was named the Titans starting quarterback for the rest of 2008 later that week. On September 21, 2008, Collins became the 15th player in NFL history to pass for more than 35,000 yards. Coming into the game against the Houston Texans, Collins needed only 90 yards to eclipse the mark. On his ninth completion of 13 attempts, Collins completed a 17-yard pass to Justin McCareins to give him 107 yards on the day and 35,017 yards for his career.

The Titans finished the 2008 regular season with a record of 13–3, top seed in the playoffs, and a first round bye. In the divisional round they lost to the Baltimore Ravens 13–10. A last minute field goal by Matt Stover won the game for the Ravens. Collins indicated after the season that he would like to play in 2009, but only as a starter. [10] Collins replaced Jets quarterback Brett Favre in the 2009 Pro Bowl, after first alternate Philip Rivers pulled out. He re-signed with the Titans on February 27, 2009. His new contract was worth $15 million, with $8.5 million guaranteed over two years. [11]

Collins (left) and Matt Schaub. Kerry Collins and Matt Schaub.jpg
Collins (left) and Matt Schaub.

Collins returned as the team's starting quarterback for the beginning of the 2009 season. In week six the Titans were defeated by the New England Patriots 59–0. After that loss and a 0–6 record on the season, coach Jeff Fisher replaced Collins as starting quarterback with Vince Young, three days before the November 1, 2009 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fisher stated that he was against this decision, saying that the problems with the team were unrelated to quarterback play, but he made the substitution after being urged by Titans owner Bud Adams to do so. [12] The Titans won five straight games with Young as quarterback, and later finished the season 8–8. [13]

Collins officially announced his retirement from the NFL on July 7, 2011. [14]

Indianapolis Colts

On August 24, 2011, Collins decided to forgo his retirement plans and agreed with the Indianapolis Colts on a contract deal. [15] The contract was worth one-year and $4 million. [16] Collins was signed as insurance for Peyton Manning, who was recovering from offseason neck surgery. The Colts named Collins the starter for week one, ending Manning's streak of 227 consecutive starts (208 regular season plus 19 playoff games) and making Collins the first quarterback other than Manning to start a regular-season game for the Colts since Jim Harbaugh in week 17 of the 1997 NFL season. [17] On October 25, 2011, the Colts placed Collins on injured reserve due to a concussion, ending his season. [18]

On March 8, the Colts officially released Collins from their active roster.

After his release, Collins did not re-sign with any team and would retire from professional football. His 40,922 career passing yards ranks 19th all-time at present, and his 3,487 completions ranks 16th all-time at present.


NFL career statistics

Led the league
BoldCareer high

Regular season

1995 CAR 151321443249.52,7176.3141961.942741.83
1996 CAR 131220436456.02,4546.714979.432381.20
1997 CAR 131320038152.52,1245.6112155.726652.51
1998 CAR 447616246.91,0116.28570.87405.70
NO 779419149.21,2026.341054.5231134.91
1999 NYG 10719133257.52,3167.081173.319361.92
2000 NYG 161631152958.83,6106.8221383.141651.61
2001 NYG 161632756857.63,7646.6191677.139731.90
2002 NYG 161633554561.54,0737.5191485.444-3-0.10
2003 NYG 131328450056.83,1106.2131670.717492.90
2004 OAK 141328951356.33,4956.8212074.816362.30
2005 OAK 151530256553.53,7596.7201277.317392.31
2006 TEN 43429046.75496.11642.3000.00
2007 TEN 61508261.05316.50079.93-3-1.00
2008 TEN 161524241558.32,6766.412780.225492.00
2009 TEN 7611921655.11,2255.76865.511151.41
2010 TEN 10716027857.61,8236.614882.21010.10
2011 IND 33489849.04814.92165.92-1-0.50


1996 CAR 22315952.53155.33363.9740.60
2000 NYG 33569857.16226.45667.311292.60
2002 NYG 11294367.43428.041112.7000.00
2008 TEN 11294261.92816.70171.6100.00

Major League Baseball Draft

Collins was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 26th round of the 1990 MLB draft, but opted to attend Penn State. Detroit selected him in the 60th round of the 1991 amateur draft, but he did not sign with the club. He was again selected in the 48th round of the 1994 amateur draft by the Toronto Blue Jays but again did not sign. [19]

Personal life

Battles with alcoholism

Collins in Nashville helping clean out homes after floods damaged the city. FEMA - 44079 - Tennessee Titans helping residents in Tennessee.jpg
Collins in Nashville helping clean out homes after floods damaged the city.

Before the 1997 season got underway, Collins's private battle with alcoholism started to make public headlines. In a highly publicized incident, on the last night of Carolina Panthers training camp in 1997, Collins used a racial slur in reference to black teammate Muhsin Muhammad while in a drunken state at a bar in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Supposedly, Collins also inadvertently slurred offensive lineman Norberto Garrido, who is of Hispanic descent. It was widely rumored that Garrido punched Collins in the eye as a result, although this was later proven false. [20]

On November 2, 1998, Collins was arrested for drunk driving in Charlotte, North Carolina. [21] He finished the 1998 season in New Orleans and signed with the New York Giants as a free agent on February 19, 1999. [22] Not long before signing with New York, Collins decided to seek treatment for his alcoholism. He entered a rehabilitation clinic in Topeka, Kansas. [23]

While a member of the New York Giants, Collins remained in therapy for four years. As a member of the Tennessee Titans, he readdressed the 1997 racial slur incident, explaining that "The guys were talking to each other that way, and I was trying to be funny and thought I could do it, too. I was so upset by it. It was bad judgment. I could have been labeled a racist for the rest of my career. I had to live with the way I used that word with a teammate. Extremely poor judgment. I was naïve to think I could use that word in any context." [24]

See also

Related Research Articles

Warren Moon American football quarterback

Harold Warren Moon is an American former gridiron football quarterback who played professionally for 23 seasons. He spent the majority of his career with the Houston Oilers of the National Football League (NFL) and the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (CFL). In the NFL, Moon also played for the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, and Kansas City Chiefs.

John Elway American football player and executive

John Albert Elway Jr. is an American football executive and former quarterback who is the president of football operations for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL).

Super Bowl XXXVIII 2004 Edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXXVIII was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Carolina Panthers and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2003 season. The Patriots defeated the Panthers by a score of 32–29. The game was played at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, on February 1, 2004. At the time, this was the most watched Super Bowl ever with 144.4 million viewers.

Peyton Manning American football quarterback

Peyton Williams Manning is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 18 seasons. Considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, he spent 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and four with the Denver Broncos. Manning is also one of the NFL's most recognizable players, earning the nickname "The Sheriff" due to his tendency to audible prior to the snap. The second son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and older brother of former NFL quarterback Eli Manning, he played college football at Tennesse, with whom he won the 1997 SEC Championship Game and earned MVP honors.

Matt Hasselbeck American football quarterback

Matthew Michael Hasselbeck is a former American football quarterback and current analyst for ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown. He played college football at Boston College and was drafted in the sixth round of the 1998 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. After a season on the practice squad and two seasons backing up Brett Favre, he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks in 2001. Hasselbeck led Seattle to six playoff appearances, including a Super Bowl loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2005 season. He was selected to three Pro Bowls in his career. Hasselbeck also played for the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts.

Vinny Testaverde American football quarterback

Vincent Frank Testaverde Sr. is a former American football quarterback who played for 21 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Miami, where he was an All-American and won the Heisman Trophy in 1986.

Frank Michael Reich Jr. is an American football coach and former quarterback who is the head coach for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). He previously played in the NFL for 14 seasons, primarily with the Buffalo Bills, who selected him in the third round of the 1985 NFL draft. Reich spent most of his career backing up Jim Kelly, although he achieved recognition in football lore when he led the Bills to the NFL's largest comeback during the 1992–93 NFL playoffs.

Steve Beuerlein American football quarterback

Stephen Taylor Beuerlein is a former American football quarterback, and is currently an NFL and college football analyst for CBS.

Larry Craig Morton is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 18 seasons, primarily with the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos. He played college football at California, receiving All-American honors, and was selected by the Cowboys fifth overall in the 1965 NFL Draft. Following nine seasons on the Cowboys, a quarterback controversy with Roger Staubach led to Morton joining the New York Giants for three seasons. Morton spent his final six seasons as a member of the Broncos, where he won NFL Comeback Player of the Year and AFC Offensive Player of the Year in 1977. After his 1982 retirement, he became a 1992 inductee of the College Football Hall of Fame. He was also named to the Broncos Ring of Fame in 1988.

Rob Garland Johnson is a former professional American football quarterback and current assistant football coach at Mission Viejo High School. Johnson, a native of Orange County, California, played college football at the University of Southern California (USC) and was a fourth-round pick in the 1995 NFL Draft by the expansion team Jacksonville Jaguars.

Vince Young American football quarterback

Vincent Paul Young Jr. is a former American football quarterback. Young played in the National Football League (NFL) for six seasons. Young was drafted by the Tennessee Titans with the third overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.

Todd Collins (quarterback) American football quarterback

Todd Steven Collins is a former American football quarterback. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the 1995 NFL Draft. He played college football at Michigan.

Jack Francis Trudeau is a former professional American football player and morning show co-host on Fox Sports Radio. He was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the 1986 NFL Draft. A quarterback from the University of Illinois, Trudeau played ten NFL seasons from 1986 to 1995.

Curtis Painter American football player

Curtis Jeffrey Painter is a former American football quarterback. He played college football for the Purdue Boilermakers and was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

History of the New York Giants (1994–present)

The New York Giants, an American football team which currently plays in the NFL's National Football Conference, have qualified for the postseason seven times since 1994. With the retirement of Phil Simms and Lawrence Taylor—two of the most important figures in franchise history—after the 1993 season, the Giants entered a new era.

Josh Freeman American football quarterback

Joshua Tyler Freeman is a former American football quarterback. He played college football at Kansas State University, and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Freeman became the starter for Tampa Bay in his rookie year and went on to break numerous franchise passing records. However, he was released partway through his fifth year with the team.

Ryan Tannehill American football quarterback

Ryan Timothy Tannehill III is an American football quarterback for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Texas A&M transitioning from wide receiver to the team's starting quarterback. He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the first round in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Andrew Luck American football quarterback

Andrew Austen Luck is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. Highly touted during his college football career at Stanford, Luck was the recipient of the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award in 2011 and twice recognized as an All-American. Following his collegiate success, he was selected first overall by the Colts in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Blake Bortles American football quarterback

Robby Blake Bortles is an American football quarterback who is a free agent. He played college football at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars third overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Trevor Siemian American football quarterback

Trevor John Siemian is an American football quarterback for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). Siemian played college football at Northwestern and was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He earned a Super Bowl ring as a backup following the Broncos' Super Bowl 50 victory over the Carolina Panthers. He has also played for the Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets and Tennessee Titans.


  1. Gross, Mike. "Penn State QB and Lebanon native Kerry Collins makes college football hall of fame". LancasterOnline. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  2. "Kerry Collins College Stats". College Football at Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  3. "1995 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  4. "Video". CNN. October 19, 1998. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  5. King, Peter (January 22, 2001). "Renewed and revitalized at 28, Collins finally comes clean". Sports Illustrated . Archived from the original on May 1, 2001. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  6. "NFL Records". Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  7. Best, Neil (April 27, 2004). "Collins, Giants ready to part ways". Newsday. Archived from the original on May 1, 2004.
  8. Barber, Phil (July 29, 2005). "Gannon's career nears end". The Press Democrat. Archived from the original on December 5, 2007. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
  9. "Raiders cut Collins, saving $9.2 million on cap". March 11, 2006. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  10. Collins: I feel like I'm a starter in this league, January 13, 2009
  11. "Titans re-sign Collins, agree to two-year deal with QB". National Football League. Archived from the original on March 2, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
  12. Wyatt, Jim (October 30, 2009). "Second chance: Titans move to Vince Young as starting QB". USA Today. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  13. Walker, Teresa. "Young, Titans win 1st of '09, beat Jaguars 30–13". Yahoo Sports.
  14. Florio, Mike (July 7, 2011). "Kerry Collins retires". . Retrieved July 7, 2011.
  15. Aziz, Andrew (August 24, 2011). "Colts sign Kerry Collins". Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  16. "Kerry Collins: Career Earnings". Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  17. "Jim Harbaugh Game Logs: 1997". Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  18. Florio, Mike (October 25, 2011). "Colts send Kerry Collins to injured reserve". ProFootballTalk. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  19. "Kerry Collins – BR Bullpen". Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  20. Freeman, Mike (August 24, 1997). "Panthers' Collins Finds Himself Tangled Up in Racial Barbs". New York Times. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
  21. "Collins' DWI Case On Hold". CBS News. February 15, 1999. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  22. "Giants Sign QB Kerry Collins". CBS News. February 19, 1999. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  23. Gaughan, Mark (January 26, 2001). "Uncorked: Kerry Collins Couldn't Release His Bottled Up Talent Until He Let Go of Alcohol". The Buffalo News. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  24. George, Thomas (September 25, 2008). "Young's mentor is right next to him, if only he'd reach out". Retrieved September 25, 2008.