Quarterback Kerry Collins, who also has a contract that expires after the coming season, would like a new deal before camp opens. He won't be completely happy without one, but he's not going to squawk and he's not going to let it affect his preparation and performance. "I'll be a little disappointed. I'm not going to lie about that," Collins said of the possibility of playing this season under the final year of his contract.
"But I'm not going to let it change my focus on the season. I'll try to play as well as I can and try to do everything I can for this team. It's not like I'm not making any money this year. I'll be disappointed, but I'll get through that and get focused on what we're trying to do." Collins said his agent, David Dunn, has been talking to the Giants. He said there's a "50-50" chance he will have a new contract within the next several weeks. "I think July 1 is the cutoff for negotiations," Collins said.
"That's the way I think about it. Whatever happens, that would give me three weeks to get focused. "I know they're talking. I don't know specifics. I told my agent to give me the highlights. I think it's definitely encouraging that they're talking. If it makes sense for both sides, it's going to happen. I definitely think it's still a good possibility." Players entering the final year of their contract routinely proclaim that the situation won't become a distraction. The reality is it often does. Collins admitted the issue will not simply disappear once the team begins full-scale preparation for the season. "No question," Collins said.
"I think you have to deal with it in a mature way and understand that these things are part of the business. Whatever is going on with the contracts, you have to be able to play through it. They're still paying me a lot of money this year and I intend to honor that fully and do everything I can for this football team.
"I'm at the point in my career where I can set aside those kind of things, understand it's part of the business, and focus on the task at hand." Collins said he understood the team doesn't have much money to hand out because of salary cap limitations. And he made it clear this is where he wants to play. "I've established roots here and I have a good relationship with the community," he said. "I don't want to play anywhere else."
May 29, 2002