Giants Release Kerry Collins QB leaves as one of team's most prolific passers. By Michael Eisen, Giants.com Related links - Message boards | Latest news | Draft Central April 28, 2004 East Rutherford, N.J. - The inevitable became a reality today when the Giants announced they have released quarterback Kerry Collins. QB Kerry Collins has been released. The team's starting quarterback since 1999, Collins rejected the Giants' overtures this week to restructure his contract. The Giants asked Collins to rework his contract after Saturday's trade for quarterback Eli Manning, the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. Because Collins was due to make $7 million in 2004, the restructuring was necessary for the Giants to fit both Collins and Manning under the salary cap. "Kerry Collins played his heart out for the Giants and took us to the Super Bowl," said Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi. "His performance in the NFC Championship Game against Minnesota was one of the greatest in the history of this franchise. For that, all of us are grateful to him. More importantly, we are grateful for the class in which he conducted himself. Unfortunately, the economics of the system we work in today determine these most difficult decisions. For me, I felt a personal identification with Kerry, and I will miss him." Although he played just 71 games for the Giants, including 68 starts, Collins will be remembered as one of the most successful and productive quarterbacks in the franchise's 80-year history. He led the Giants to the 2000 NFC Championship and a berth in Super Bowl XXXV and a 2002 NFC Wild Card Playoff berth. Collins is second on the team's career list with 1,447 completions, trailing only Phil Simms. He is third in pass attempts (2,473) and passing yards (16,875), behind only Simms and Charlie Conerly in both categories. Collins' 81 touchdown passes place him fifth on the Giants' career list. Collins started 67 consecutive games before an ankle injury forced him to miss the final three games of the 2003 season. The streak was the third-longest among active quarterbacks behind Brett Favre (186) and Peyton Manning (93) and the second-longest by a quarterback in Giants history (Fran Tarkenton started 69 straight games from 1967-71). Collins completed 58.51 percent of his passes (1,447 of 2,473) as a Giant, the highest percentage in franchise history among quarterbacks that have thrown more than 1,000 passes. He passed for more than 3,000 yards in each of the last four seasons, the first Giants quarterback to reach that milestone four years in a row. His 17 300-yard passing games as a Giant rank second in team history to Simms' 21. Prior to Collins' arrival, the Giants had two 300-yard passing games in the previous 8 1/2 seasons - Jeff Hostetler in 1991 and Phil Simms in 1993. In 2000 and 2001, Collins became the 1st player in NFL history to throw every pass for the same team in two consecutive seasons. He set an NFL record by throwing 1,852 consecutive regular season passes from Nov. 21, 1999 to Dec. 15, 2002. The streak was broken when Jesse Palmer threw 4 passes in the fourth period of a 37-7 rout of Dallas Collins was 35-33 as a regular season starting quarterback with the Giants, including 35-32 in his 67-game streak, which began with six games remaining in the 1999 season. He is the second-winningest Giants quarterback in the Giants Stadium era (1976), trailing only Simms (95-64). Collins tied a Giants record by completing 13 consecutive passes spanning the games at Philadelphia (9/10/2000) and at Chicago (9/17/2000). Simms set the mark by completing 13 consecutive passes at Cincinnati on Oct. 13, 1985.