Kerry Collins is on his way to Oakland this morning for a two-day visit with the Raiders. And while he's there, he just might make the trip across the Bay Bridge to visit with the San Francisco 49ers. Those visits will be the first two stops on what will be a short free-agent tour for the former Giants quarterback. Collins, who already passed on a chance to become Brett Favre's backup in Green Bay, wants to remain a starter. And other than those with the Raiders and 49ers, there aren't many possible starting-quarterback jobs available.
The Raiders have been interested in Collins since he was released by the Giants on April 28. Their incumbent starter, Rich Gannon, reportedly looked good at Oakland's first minicamp two weeks ago. But Gannon is 38, coming off shoulder surgery and refusing to renegotiate his $7 million salary, which makes him a candidate to be a June 1 cut.
Collins will spend the next two days meeting and possibly working out for Oakland officials, including new Raiders coach Norv Turner. And at some point while Collins is in the Bay Area, he expects to hear from 49ers officials about scheduling a stop at their Santa Clara, Calif., offices.
The 49ers lost their incumbent starter, Tim Rattay, who had surgery yesterday to repair a torn groin muscle and is expected to miss three to four months. And since former starter Jeff Garcia has hooked up with Cleveland, second-year pro Ken Dorsey is the new No. 1 quarterback on the roster. As a result, San Francisco could be Collins' best chance to claim a starting job.
The Chicago Bears are interested in Collins, too, though publicly they've expressed nothing but support for their starting quarterback, Rex Grossman.