Longtime NFL quarterback Kerry Collins announced his retirement Thursday, a development that might surprise the Titans, who had envisioned Collins tutoring rookie first-round pick Jake Locker this season.
Collins spent 16 years in the NFL. He was a first-round pick out of Penn State and led the start-up Carolina Panthers from upstart to division championship contenders before battling off-field issues and resurrecting his career with the New York Giants.
Collins, 39, said he went into the lockout with the idea he'd play in 2011. In June Collins said he was looking forward to working with Locker. But he released a statement Thursday outlining his decision, which pointed to his dwindling desire to commit "to the preparation necessary to play another season."
"I want to wish Mike Munchak and the Tennessee Titans the best of luck in the future," Collins said. "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 out of the picture, Vince Young's short-term future could be clouded. Young is under contract but the Titans have repeated since coach Jeff Fisher resigned that Young would be traded or released. However, second-year pro Rusty Smith, a seventh-round pick in 2010 who looked overwhelmed as a rookie starter, is the only other quarterback on the current roster.
Collins quarterbacked the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV against the Ravens and was twice voted to the Pro Bowl.
He went 12-3 in 2008 and led the Titans to the AFC South title. He is 11th on the NFL's all-time list for passing yards with 40,441 and had 206 career touchdowns. He played for the Panthers from 1995-98 before spending one season with the Saints (1998), Giants, Raiders and Titans.