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March 07, 2006

Collins ... again in Carolina?

At the end of last season, and while attending Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Panthers wide receiver Ricky Proehl made it pretty clear he’d like to play another year.

But nothing has happened and it probably won’t for a while, even though it would likely require a simple contract and reasonable money to bring back Proehl. The Panthers wouldn’t mind having the 37-year-old around to help ease what’s likely to be a transition period at receiver. Proehl’s a great locker room guy and perfect for mentoring young receivers.

The Panthers are likely to either draft or sign a free agent to compete with Keary Colbert for the starting spot opposite Steve Smith. They’ve also got a promising receiver in Drew Carter. Proehl would be a nice insurance policy.

But Panthers officials say they’re going to wait before making any decision on Proehl. They want to see how the NFL’s labor situation plays out so they can "survey the landscape." Translation: If the salary cap prevents them from bringing in an established receiver as a free agent, they probably will re-sign Proehl.

This probably never will happen, but let’s talk hypotheticals for just a moment. Suppose the Panthers lose backup quarterback Chris Weinke to free agency. With second-year pro Stefan LeFors as the only other rostered quarterback behind Jake Delhomme, the Panthers suddenly find themselves looking for a backup.

Most likely, they’d want someone with experience and ability to step in if Delhomme got hurt.

Think about this before you start screaming.

How about ...drum roll please ... Kerry Collins?

Seriously, he fits the on-field profile of what the Panthers would be looking for in a backup. Carolina coach John Fox was with the New York Giants during Collins’ resurrection and knows Collins’ off-field lifestyle has changed 180 degrees from when he was a young player with Carolina.

But it’s tough to imagine owner Jerry Richardson, who once tried to build a franchise around Collins and watched it collapse, bringing him back. Besides, Collins, who was released by Oakland, might get a chance to go somewhere where he can be a starter.

But, hey, it’s a thought.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 7, 2006 at 10:46 AM | Permalink


In my opinion if Carolina did bring Quiter Collins back to this team it would be a horrible decision. For a franchise who appears to have no problems cutting guys who cause little waves in the organization, i.e. Sauerbrun not wanting to take on additional duties without being compensated for it as well as his DUI. Quiter also has DUIs on his record. But Sauerbrun never has quit his team at any point in his career. The same can't be said for Quiter Collins. And no one has ever said Quiter was the best player at his position at any time in his football days. It would be highly hypocritical of Carolina to bring Quiter back to give him another chance and not do the same for all the other players Carolina has cut over the years. Just some food for thought.

Posted by: David | Mar 7, 2006 11:45:48 AM

Go ahead David, throw that first stone! I'm sure you've lived an exemplary life and never made one mistake.

I was just as ready for KC to go when he did back then. I have also seen how far he's come and how much he seems to have matured since his Carolina days. I also wondered whether we should give him a look for the backup spot if Weinke leaves. He may even be interested in coming back as it is. I think it would be a huge accomplishment as it should provide some closure for his past at Carolina. Not to mention, I THINK he is married to a local woman and owns property nearby.

Everybody deserves a 2nd chance. He got one and obviously took advantage of it. In my book he's a completely different KC than the KC we knew and like Pat says, would fit nicely as a backup.

Posted by: Hector | Mar 7, 2006 12:17:35 PM

We can and should do better.

Posted by: Les | Mar 7, 2006 12:28:27 PM

Les, I agree with you. I would throw stones and anything else to keep Collins from stepping foot inside Charlotte's city limits.

Posted by: CJD | Mar 7, 2006 2:25:42 PM

More than any individual, the group synergy will determine the strength of the team. A group can always beat a collection of individuals, just as a compound is stronger than a mixture.

Educate, educate, educate! For their money, they should be willing to learn ballet, judo, tai chi, and other skills that will keep them from being hurt, make them superior atheletes, and just make them a graceful joy to behold.

They tend to overlook the useful "feminine" skills...at their peril.

If they knew ballet, they could simply jump over the tackles. And judo and tai chi will help them fall properly, as well as make them better aware of their surroundings.

Think outside the bun! But think!

Best wishes,
Dave Beckwith

Posted by: anonyMoses | Mar 7, 2006 3:00:40 PM

Thank you, Hector. I had on my Carolina jacket at the tag office when I still lived in NC and a lady asked me if I was glad KC was gone....I told her quite frankly, I was not. Everyone deserves a second chance. KC had a lot of weight on him when they tried to "build a franchise" around him and he was young. Even the best mess up from time to time. I don't know anyone who is perfect and would not appreciate mercy. I think it would be cool to have him back in Carolina.

Posted by: PantherFanInGeorgia | Mar 7, 2006 4:16:59 PM

Please God nooooooo!!

Sure he's got talent, but that will only get him so far in the NFL. In my opinion, he's already done as much as he going to do.

Please don't torture us with such cruel hypotheticals. That's almost like asking Steeler fans if they would like to see Bubby Brister play again.

Posted by: JTB | Mar 7, 2006 4:55:03 PM

As a devout, loyal member of Raider Nation, I would be beside myself with joy to see Collins GET OUT of the Silver and Black. I struggle to remember when a QB has done so little with so much.
But Collins would do well here. He still has a cannon for an arm. The key here, opposed to Oakland, is that the Panther O-line is about 3 grades better than the Oakland O-line. Collins wouldnt have to scramble and run for his life like he has for the past two seasons in Oakland and he would have more than 4 seconds to let Smith/Colbert/Carter to run their routes.
Of course, if the CBA is re-upped and the cap increased to 105MM, then it won't matter...Kerry will stay on the left coast.

And to Hector's question, yes he does own a 60 - 70 acre farm about an hour out of the city.

Posted by: RaiderNation | Mar 7, 2006 4:57:43 PM

I guess just to clarify, I'm all for a healthy debate on whether or not he is capable of backing up Jake and whether or not he would fit the system. I think RaiderNation makes a good case based on the o-line differences between Oakland and Carolina.

Outside of that, it seems to me he has turned his life completely around and to simply discard him as a player simply because of his past mistakes outside the lines is not fair to him or anybody in his shoes. This is not like Ricky Williams or some of the other players who get 2nd and 3rd chances and waste every one of them. KC woke up sometime between Charlotte, New Orleans and NYC and got his act together fast. I think the Coach Fox and the Panthers should keep an open mind regarding him.

Posted by: Hector | Mar 7, 2006 5:36:57 PM

Hey, I'd be fine with Collins as a backup, if Weinke goes elsewhere. The guy has an arm. Lafors isn't ready for prime time and may never be. Collins has lasted this long in the pros because he has something to offer and his quitter/drunken days are long over. Still, we'd better be talking near mininum pay.

Posted by: DRob | Mar 7, 2006 6:07:17 PM

I would not mind seeing Kerry Collins as the Panthers back-up. He is not an elite QB, but he would be an elite back-up. As a starter in the league, he has put up solid numbers, especially since getting his personal life in order.

People seem to forget that Collins did a lot for the Panthers in their first two seasons. He, pretty much, single-handedly beat SF in the '96 season. He lead his team to the NFC Championship game in its second season. Granted, he did not do it all by himself, but he was solid that year.

Somewhere along the line he lost his way. So what? How many people could stand up to the pressure of being the cornerstone of a new franchise. I would say not very many. Some cannot even stand the pressure of being the next big thing for a historied franchise.

Collins has changed his ways. It would be good to bring him in as a back-up. Jake would have some competition from a seasoned vet, and this could only make him better. I don't like grudges, and I do not hold one against Kerry Collins. What good does it do?

Posted by: Dane | Mar 8, 2006 9:32:08 AM

Not trying to throw stones here Hector. Nor was I writing that anyone, much less myself had never made a mistake. But if Carolina has a policy, which it certainly appears to have, of not keeping players who make such public mistakes, i.e. Sauerbrun, Cooper, Chris Terry, etc..., then they should stick to that policy. Not break it for a guy simply because he is a QB. I don't hear anyone saying we should bring any of those other guys back. So why bring Collins back? Collins had a much longer leash then any of those other players when he was here. Not only did he have the multiple DUIs, but he also referred to Mushin as a N*****, and quit the team in the middle of the season. No player in Panther history has been given that much of a leash. My point is simple. If he gets that much, why not everyone else? He was worse, as far as off the field issues, then any of those other players I mentioned. By far. Not to mention, IMO he's way over rated anyway.

Posted by: David | Mar 8, 2006 10:52:07 AM

#$^$! Kerry Collins.. Turnover after turnover.. Don't forget 5 turnovers in the superbowl with NY. He left us screwed for several years at the QB position with no compensation. It would be a disgrace to see him wear a Panther jersey ever again. He's a Jeff George clone... cannon arm, dumb as a rock.

Posted by: Daniel | Mar 8, 2006 3:02:37 PM

It's simple people, Kerry has become a better person, but still is a bad quarterback.

Posted by: CJD | Mar 8, 2006 3:21:38 PM

How could you even bring up such a lousy subject as kerry collins? This guy if you remember called our black players a bunch of "monkeys" and quit on us in mid-season! I understand that people make mistakes and sometimes things are to be forgiven, but when someone spits in your face you NEVER invite them back into your house. You would be wise to do your job and quit being so lazy and lethargic, talk about subjects that gets panther fans excited, not about things that make people question your journalism skills. This K. Collins story was a lazy effort on your part.

Posted by: jeremy | Mar 9, 2006 3:53:58 AM

I agree with Jeremy!! Lets move on...

Posted by: Stan | Mar 9, 2006 9:44:27 AM

We've already got a back-up. His name is Jake Duh-lomme.

Posted by: Brad | Mar 9, 2006 1:34:46 PM

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