Raiders searching for Collins' successor


Well-Known Member
Jan 22, 2006
Reaction score
Raiders searching for Collins' successor
Oakland cuts QB on the same day it drops out of the Culpepper sweepstakes
By Steve Corkran

The Raiders released veteran quarterback Kerry Collins on Friday afternoon in a move that freed up much-needed salary-cap room but also left them without a proven starting quarterback.

For now, anyway. The Raiders explored the possibility of trading for disgruntled Minnesota Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper but found the asking price and risk too steep for their liking, a person in the front office said.

A prohibitive 2006 salary led to the Raiders' releasing Collins, 33. He was slated to earn $6 million in base salary next season, in addition to a $2.5 million roster bonus due him Wednesday. The Raiders pared almost $9.2 million from their 2006 salary cap by cutting Collins.

They also put themselves in an uneasy situation. That is, they are without a proven starter for the first time since they returned to Oakland for the 1995 season. Marques Tuiasosopo has started only two games in his five NFL seasons. Andrew Walter did not play at all his rookie season last year.

Collins started 28 games during his two-year stint with the Raiders. They won only seven of those games. As a result, Raiders fans turned on Collins. That, along with his $12.6 million cap figure and inconsistent play, makes his return unlikely.

Still, it remains a possibility, the front office person said, that the Raiders will re-sign Collins between now and the start of the season. They have agreed to speak in the coming days.

The likelihood of Collins' return increased once the Raiders dropped out of the Culpepper sweepstakes Friday night. However, Collins awakens today free to negotiate a contract with any of the league's 32 teams, Numerous teams are in need of a legitimate starting quarterback. It's a safe bet to assume that Collins' name just got added to the list of many of those teams. The Baltimore Ravens reportedly are interested in reuniting Collins with offensive coordinator Jim Fassel.

Fassel coached a New York Giants team that reached the Super Bowl at the end of the 2000 season with Collins at quarterback.

Collins offered the Raiders the most convenient option, if not the cheapest, to fill their quarterback spot. He is familiar with most of the players, spent the past two seasons with the Raiders, and was respected as an on-field and off-the-field leader.

His signing elsewhere would leave the Raiders in a quandary. Do they entrust the reins to Tuiasosopo or Walter? Do they gamble on a free agent such as Drew Brees, Brian Griese, Jon Kitna or Josh McCown? Or do they select a quarterback in the NFL draft and rush him into action? New coach Art Shell and managing general partner Al Davis aren't tipping their hand. Ultimately, they decided that gambling on Culpepper involved too much downside.

For instance, Culpepper still is in the midst of rehabilitating from surgery to repair the damage he sustained from three torn ligaments in his right knee in a game Oct. 30.

He reportedly is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation, though it remains uncertain whether he will be cleared to play in time for the regular-season opener six months or so from now.

Notes: Raiders defensive end Derrick Burgess will be honored at the team's Fourth annual Commitment to Excellence Dinner at the Oakland Airport Hilton. The award is voted on by the players and given to the player "who best exemplifies the pride, poise and spirit of the Oakland Raiders." He led the league with 16 sacks last season and was named to the Pro Bowl. ... Raiders tight end Courtney Anderson visited students at Bret Harte Middle School in Oakland on Thursday. He spoke about the importance of being physically active and staying hydrated. Anderson is a Richmond High School graduate.
This thread has been closed due to inactivity. You can create a new thread to discuss this topic.