NFL Free Agency: 5 Reasons Kerry Collins Should Return to the Tennessee Titans

Mark Pare@NEPats17Correspondent IIJune 14, 2011

NFL Free Agency: 5 Reasons Kerry Collins Should Return to the Tennessee Titans

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 26:  Quarterback Kerry Collins #5 of the Tennessee Titans in action during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on December 26, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    The Tennessee Titans face a few questions going into free agency.

    Vince Young will be leaving town, Jake Locker is coming in to replace him but the veteran presence is currently missing.

    Kerry Collins has been with the organization since 2006 and is a current free agent.  He doesn't have much time left and if the Titans know what is good for them, they need Collins to help mold Locker into the QB of the future.

    Collins also talked to Pro Football Weekly (PFW) correspondent Jim Wyatt and there are several quotes in this slideshow from that interview where it was made clear that Collins would love to come back.

    With that being said, here are five reasons why the Titans should resign Collins.

His Numbers Weren't All Bad

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    NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 05:  Quarterback Kerry Collins #5 of the Tennessee Titans runs after being flushed out of the pocket by the Jacksonville Jaguars at LP Field on December 5, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Jaguars won 17-6. (Photo by Grant Halver
    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    In 2008, the Tennessee Titans took the NFL by storm, finishing with a record of 13-3 on the back of QB Kerry Collins.  When you look closer, his numbers haven't changed all that much.

    Collins had 2,676 yards passing with 12 TDs and seven INTs in 2008 and started the Titans off at a perfect 10-0.  He did not miss a game that season after Vince Young went down in the first game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    In 2010, Collins started 10 games as he dueled with Young for the starter job, yet Collins' numbers were nearly par to his 2008 season.  His completion percentage was at 57.6 percent at the end of this season, down from the 58.3 percent he established two years prior. His QB rating of 82.2 in 2010 is his best since the the 85.4 he had with the New York Giants in 2002.

    I could sit here all day, comparing Collins' 2008 and 2010 numbers but you would be reading a novel. So I'll sum it all up by saying that he did a great job and that he could very well bring the Titans back to a winning season.  If he doesn't, well, the following two slides should offer some relief for the future.

With Age Comes Wisdom

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27:  Quarterback Jake Locker of Washington runs a passing drill during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Kerry Collins will be 39 in December and his days in the NFL are numbered.  In my opinion, he has two years left and it would be nice to see his career end on a high note.

    In his career, Collins has been to the Super Bowl, been to the Pro Bowl and has thrown for over 40,000 yards, so he offers plenty of knowledge to pass along to rookie QB Jake Locker.

    Of course, we said the same thing with Vince Young, but Locker is not Young.

    Now, I am not saying that Collins and Locker will recreate Favre and Rodgers, but that student/teacher relationship can be established if both parties are willing.

    Collins mentioned to Jim Wyatt (of PFW) that he would be willing to help out the rookie, just like he did with Young.

    "I went through it with Vince (Young)," Collins said.  "I would be open to it, but it would have to be the right thing.  I would like to get to know Jake a little bit to make sure he'd be the type guy I'd want to help out.  That won't be the sole issue either.  It is not about what kind of guy Jake is.  I just have to weigh a lot of things."

With Age Comes Discount Prices

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 26:  Quarterback Kerry Collins #5 of the Tennessee Titans looks on from the bench during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on December 26, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty I
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Collins signed a two-year, $15 million contract in 2009, following his successful 2008 campaign.  He won't be getting that kind of money anymore and as most teams look towards their future (including the Titans), Collins feels he still has some football left in him.

    The way I see it, if Collins wants to have a job in the NFL in 2011, he will need to take a pay cut and will have to work to get a starting job.

    In Tennessee, he is well established, has a great setup, and as a veteran, he should have plenty of money in the bank to help sustain his life after football.

    Collins will want Tennessee to succeed. If he does sign, he will want them to build a future as well, and considering their 6-10 season in 2010, they need all the help they can get in a division that houses both Indianapolis and Houston.

NFL Labor Dispute: Collins' Hidden Gem

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 3: Theodore Olson, lawyer for the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), addresses the media outside the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Federal Courthouse after the NFL lockout hearing on June 3, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. N
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    There has been much talk over this lockout that the people most effected are the young players.  If Jake Locker wants a starting job in 2011, he will have to learn the Titans' playbook as quick as he can.

    With the lockout preventing Locker from doing so, Collins' window of opportunity opens up, considering he has known that playbook since 2006.

    Collins can also mentor Locker with his on-field vision.

    This could also lead to a tight battle for the Titans' QB starting job between the two. The longer this lockout lasts, the more it benefits the veteran Collins, who admitted to PFW that this was "legitimate speculation."

Collins Is Open to a Return

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    Collins has a great fanbase behind him.
    Collins has a great fanbase behind him.Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    You won't get any complaints from Collins when you ask him about a possible 2011 season in Tennessee.

    "If it makes sense on both sides to do it, I'd be good for coming back," said Collins.

    He has been playing for the organization since 2006, his family lives there during the season, he has a huge fan base (mainly built during the 2008 season), and with retirement looming, I don't imagine Collins wants to make a big move like Brett Favre did.

    The question remains whether or not Collins wants to retire as a Titan or perhaps as a member of a team he has found success with, the New York Giants of 2000, or the team that made him their first draft selection in franchise history in the Carolina Panthers.

    We will soon find out.  What do you think?