NEW YORK (Reuters)—Quarterback Kerry Collins retired from the National Football League on Thursday after a 16-season career that saw the former first-round pick play for five teams and fight a public battle against alcoholism.
The two-time Pro Bowl selection, who spent his final five seasons as an on-and-off starter for the Tennessee Titans, felt that at the age of 38 it was time to call it quits.
"While my desire to compete on Sundays is still and always will be there, my willingness to commit to the preparation necessary to play another season has waned to a level that I feel is no longer adequate to meet the demands of the position," Collins said in a statement released by his agent.
Drafted fifth overall by the Carolina Panthers in the 1995 NFL Draft, Collins threw for 40,442 yards in his career, which places him 11th on the NFL's all-time list. He also threw 206 touchdowns and 195 interceptions in 194 games.
Four games into his fourth season with Carolina, Collins was placed on waivers and signed with the New Orleans Saints, where he remained in 1998 before stints with the New York Giants (1999-2003) and Oakland Raiders (2004-05).
Collins had a tough battle against alcohol and was ordered into rehab after an arrest for driving under the influence. He spent four years receiving therapy while with the Giants and was widely respected for talking about his troubles and how he confronted them.
The highlight of Collins's career came in the 2000 season, when he lead the Giants to the Super Bowl after a resounding 41-0 win over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game where he threw for 381 yards and five touchdowns. The Giants lost 34-7 to the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl.
The Titans said earlier this year that they intended to trade or release Vince Young, a move which would leave the team with 2011 first-round draft pick Jake Locker and second year pro Rusty Smith at quarterback.
Collins had largely shared the starting quarterback role with Vince Young in Tennessee after joining the team in 2006.
"I have had a fantastic five years here and my family and I look forward to remaining part of the Middle Tennessee community that has been extremely gracious toward us and an honor to play for," said Collins.
(Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by Frank Pingue; To query or comment on this story firstname.lastname@example.org)