Giants close in on Kerry Collins

The New York Giants have had ``productive'' talks with Kerry Collins and are close to a deal with the quarterback that reportedly would cost Danny Kanell his job.

Leigh Steinberg, Collins' agent, on Thursday said he expects negotiations on a contract for the free agent to continue.

``We've been in discussions the last few days and they are ongoing,'' Steinberg said. ``Kerry visited over the weekend and had a good chance to spend some time with coach Jim Fassel, and he did get to meet briefly with the owners. He had a real productive and interesting visit.''

Responding to an ESPN report that the signing is imminent and Kanell would be waived, Steinberg said, ``They know more than I do.''

Added Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon:

``We haven't signed anybody and haven't made any announcement to that effect. ESPN is reporting it. We don't have any comment on the report at this time. I'm not disputing what they're reporting, I'm just telling you we don't have any comment on it.''

Collins, 26, had a troubled career with the Carolina Panthers, who made him the fifth overall pick in the 1995 draft. He was released on Oct. 13 after telling Dom Capers -- then the Carolina coach, but since fired -- that he didn't have the heart for pro football.

Almost immediately signed by New Orleans, he continued to struggle. Collins returned with the Saints to Carolina two weeks later and was booed loudly all game. He was arrested a few hours later for driving while impaired.

The Saints waived him after the season.

Steinberg said he thinks the Giants could be a good fit for Collins.

``New York is intriguing from his standpoint, because he grew up in Pennsylvania and went to Penn State,'' Steinberg said. ``I've often thought and told Kerry the best football job is quarterback of the Giants if they are winning, with the tremendous depth of their fan base and the intensity, simply because of their location.''