Reason for cancellation not known

Updated: May 19, 2004, 9:28 AM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Free agent quarterback Kerry Collins has canceled his two-day visit with Green Bay executives and, while the Packers still would like to meet with him, there is no guarantee the former New York Giants starter will reschedule.

Kerry Collins
Collins

Collins had been slated to arrive in Green Bay on Tuesday and to meet with coach Mike Sherman and other key club executives through much of Wednesday, but then suddenly begged off. It was not immediately known if Collins is close to a deal with another team, simply decided the Packers are not a good fit, or had a timing conflict.

Stalled in their attempts to acquire Tim Couch, and still eager to upgrade the backup quarterback situation, the Packers were eager to gauge Collins' interest in becoming the understudy to Brett Favre. Collins had earlier rebuffed overtures from the Packers.

Released by the Giants on April 28, four days after New York acquired Eli Manning, the top overall choice in the 2004 draft, Collins met with Oakland Raiders officials last week.

But as Couch and others have found, the market for veteran quarterbacks is soft, even for those with a resume as complete as the one Collins has constructed. Outside of the spot that Collins abandoned when he declined to restructure his contract with the Giants, there are no starting jobs.

As was the case with his visit in Oakland, the meeting with Packers officials was expected to be a get-acquainted session, one in which both sides determined if there is sufficient interest to move forward. Collins has been a starter his entire NFL career, coming off the bench just six times in 123 appearances, and it is difficult for some players to move into the backup mentality.

While the Raiders remain interested in Collins, their ardor may have waned a bit after having determined his financial desires. It is not known if Collins, 31, has any others visits planned.

The Packers have been courting Couch for more than a month but have been unable to reach a contract accord that would precede a trade for him. They also visited last week with free agent Damon Huard, a seven-year veteran who spent the past three seasons in New England and hasn't thrown a pass in a regular-season game since 2000.

Couch is reluctant to sign a deal that would keep him on the bench, behind Favre, for more than a year. There has been no progress on the Couch front for at least two weeks now and, according to agent Tom Condon there is "nothing, zero" happening in talks.

Green Bay recently re-signed journeyman Doug Pederson, 36, and he currently holds down the No. 2 spot on the depth chart. Youngster Craig Nall, who played well in the NFL Europe League last spring and is being given every chance to seize the primary backup spot, has yet to take advantage of that opportunity.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

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