Former Giant Collins a no-show

Former New York Giants quarterback Kerry Collins was supposed to visit the Green Bay Packers on Tuesday but abruptly canceled the trip.

Kerry Collins was released by the Giants shortly after they swung a trade to obtain the consensus top quarterback in the draft, Eli Manning, last month. Collins, who would rather start than tutor a hot-shot rookie, refused to cut his $7 million salary, though both sides parted amicably.

The Packers' interest in Collins and Collins' interest in the Packers made little sense from either vantage point, perhaps precipitating Collins' change of plans. The Packers would prefer somebody like Cleveland's Tim Couch, who has plenty of years remaining in his career, to serve as the backup quarterback for a season or more before stepping into the starting role whenever Brett Favre decides to retire.

At age 31, there's a chance Collins wouldn't get the chance to start in Green Bay until he, too, was pondering retirement. Despite being pushed aside in New York, Collins remains one of the league's better quarterbacks and clearly is a starting-caliber player.

He has talked with the Oakland Raiders, though their interest cooled after aging former league MVP Rich Gannon looked solid at minicamp after shoulder surgery. Gannon missed much of last season after injuring his right (throwing) shoulder during the Oct. 20 loss to Kansas City.

As for Couch, little has been accomplished in negotiations to shave his salary down to a more manageable figure for the Packers' strapped salary cap. The Browns owe Couch $15.6 million over the final two years of his contract, a figure clearly too steep to pay a backup quarterback. With the silence from both camps over the past couple weeks, it appears the Packers are in wait-and-see mode: wait until June 1 and see if the Browns release Couch outright.


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