Collins status still not definitive

Center is not the only position on the Oakland Raiders offensive line that features some uncertainty. Much has been discussed about what the team may do with center Barret Robbins after his Super Bowl weekend episode. The Raiders, however, still have not resigned starting right guard Mo Collins, an unrestricted free agent.

 

Losing the 6-foot-4, 330-pound Collins would create a hole, literally and figuratively, on an offensive line that was responsible for producing the NFL's best passing offense on the way to a Super Bowl appearance. Raiders head coach Bill Callahan, however, suggested that Collins not yet resigning with the club is not an indicator of the team not being interested in retaining him.

"Not at all," said Callahan, who was Collins' position coach from 1999-2001. "We're very much interested. I've said that to him strongly and emphatically."

Collins has been a force when healthy but also susceptible to injury. The question becomes are the Raiders willing to keep him? Collins has not drawn much interest around the league, which may help Oakland's ability to keep Collins.

Washington was reportedly interested in Collins but opted to sign New York Jets guard Randy with a seven-year deal worth $28 million, including a $7 million bonus.

Matt Stinchcomb would be the next viable option if Collins does not return. Stinchcomb started the first quarter of the season at left guard while Frank Middleton, the starter at that position, shirted to the right side. Collins returned to the starting lineup, sending Stinchcomb to the bench. Stinchcomb, however, played better than he had at any time in his career since Oakland drafted him in 1999.

 

Vince D'Adamo can be reached via e-mail at vdad7@yahoo.com


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