Kerry Collins’ retirement was short-lived.
The veteran quarterback, who spent the last five seasons with the Tennessee Titans, signed with the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday, seven weeks after he announced he had played his final game.
“They must have courted him very well,” current Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “… Coming here and getting to hear the stories – guys love him and guys respect him so it’s not surprising that Indianapolis would want him.”
The move comes as speculation continues that Colts quarterback Peyton Manning won’t be ready for the opener because of offseason neck surgery. Manning has yet to practice or play in the preseason.
The Colts will become the sixth different NFL team for Collins, the fifth overall pick of the 1995 NFL draft.
“He is a veteran quarterback who has started many games and he brings dimension and depth to the quarterback position, which will be helpful,” Indianapolis coach Jim Caldwell said. “He is familiar with our division and will make a great addition to our roster.”
Collins’ final game with the Titans actually was against the Colts. He completed 28 of 39 throws for 300 yards – his only 300-yard game in 43 games with the franchise – in a 23-20 defeat in the 2010 regular season finale.
He currently is ninth all-time in NFL career completions (3,439) and 11th in career passing yards (40,441).
“He was a guy I thought could still play and when I heard that he retired we were surprised for that reason,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said. “The Colts had a close up view of his last game where he passed for 300 yards on them so I think they knew how good he still was and that he could still make the throws and how he is a smart player. … I’m happy for him.”
Collins joined the Titans in 2006 following the third preseason game and started the first three games – all losses. Vince Young replaced him and ultimately became the NFL offensive rookie of the year.
He and Young traded the job over the next four seasons. Collins was the starter for all but one game in 2009, when the Titans went 13-3 during the regular season and made their most recent playoff appearance.
The first of this season’s scheduled games between the Titans and Colts is Oct. 30 at LP Field.
“It’s good to know he’s back playing football but not with the Colts,” wide receiver Justin Gage said. “That’s another division team. But it’s good to see him back.
“I am surprised, but at the same time I’m happy for him.”
Roughly three weeks after he announced his retirement, Collins said he was content with the decision and eager to begin the next phase of his life, which includes a songwriting company he currently operates on Music Row.
He did say that he was disappointed in the fact that he never played on a Super Bowl championship team. He lost with the New York Giants after the 2000 season and got to the NFC championship game with Carolina in 1996.
Indianapolis has won the AFC South six of the last seven seasons and has been to the Super Bowl twice in the last five seasons with a victory in Super Bowl XLI.
“I don’t know the details of this situation but if you’re sitting at home and the GM of a team or the coach of a team or several people from a team call you and beg you or throw a really awesome offer at you, who knows?” Hasselbeck said. “Sometimes you’re willing to listen.”