Collins signs with Raiders

Another quarterback is off the Packers' quarterback wish list as Kerry Collins signed with the Oakland Raiders on Monday.

Collins was scheduled to visit Green Bay last Tuesday but canceled the trip.

"Kerry is a highly productive performer who will add to what is already a talented position," Raiders coach Norv Turner said.

The Raiders' quarterback depth chart remains a mystery, with Turner giving little incite into the situation. The Raiders lost starter Rich Gannon midway through last season to a shoulder injury, which required surgery in November. Gannon participated in the recent minicamp and impressed team officials.

Terms of Collins' contract were not disclosed. Gannon, however, is scheduled to make $7 million next season, leading to speculation the 38-year-old 2002 league MVP will be released.

Collins is the longtime starter for the New York Giants. He led the team to the Super Bowl in 2001, but the Giants swung a draft-day trade to land the consensus top passer in the draft, Eli Manning. When Collins refused to take a pay cut, the Giants released him and his $8.95 million salary-cap figure.

Collins threw for 3,110 yards with 13 touchdowns and 16 interceptions last season.

The Packers' interest in Collins was strange, given Collins' desire to start. The Packers would like to find a quarterback capable of taking over for Brett Favre when the three-time MVP decides to retire. It didn't seem likely Collins would sit on the bench for a season or two or more. At age 31, Collins may be approaching retirement by the time Favre decides to retire.

The Packers' supposed interest in Collins, as well as their recent tryout of Patriots backup Damon Huard, may have been a negotiating ploy to get Cleveland quarterback Tim Couch to lower his demands. Couch and the Packers reportedly have not talked in three weeks, though the Packers remain interested and may be waiting to see if the Browns release Couch on June 1.


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