"We have an issue at tight end that needs fixing and this was our best solution at this time," said Packers coach/general manager Mike Sherman. "When I was at Seattle (in 1999) we were going to draft Bobby Collins but Buffalo beat us to it. We liked him coming out. He is a very good athlete that has speed and ball catching skills, but he is still a young NFL football player."
Collins, 24, has only caught 15 passes for 196 yards, a 13.1-yard average, and 2 touchdowns. But he has much more experience than rookie David Martin, Green Bay's sixth-round pick this year, has at this point. The Packers also signed veteran free agent Troy Drayton on July 29.
Drayton and Collins will battle first-year free agents Adam Newman and Stevan Fontana for the third spot behind Franks and Martin.Six-year veteran Tyrone Davis also is on the roster but he underwent hamstring surgery in early July and probably won't be ready to play until October at the earliest.
Bowens, a third-year pro, played mainly on passing downs throughout the 2000 season. He was acquired from Denver in an offseason trade and was fifth on the team with 3.5 sacks. He also had 34 tackles, 3 pressures, 9 quarterback hits (tops among the Packers' backups) and one pass defensed. On special teams, he had seven tackles and one fumble recovery.
"David is a good guy who will be missed by teammates and coaches. Any time you trade one of your 'core' players it is difficult, but this was something we had to do."