(Born November 5, 1971) -- Todd Collins is something of a trivia question, particularly locally. As in, “Who was the Bills’ starting quarterback after Jim Kelly?” It proved to be a hard act to follow.
Collins was a classic three-sport standout in high school in Massachusetts. He was unbeaten as a pitcher (10-0) as a junior, and averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds a game in basketball on a team that made the state semifinals. But football was his best sport, and he landed a scholarship at Michigan.
Collins set a variety of records for the Wolverines, and it helped his stock in the NFL Draft. He was a second-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in 1995. The quarterback was a back-up in his first two years as a pro. He got his chance in 1997, but couldn’t hold on to the starting spot.
The Bills let him go after that, but his career was far from over. The Chiefs signed him in 1998, and he was either a third-stringer or second-stringer for several years. Collins stayed in Kansas City through 2005.
Even then, he wasn’t done. Collins joined the Washington Redskins. When Jason Campbell was injured, Collins was pressed into service. The ex-Bill found some magic, helped Washington reach the playoffs as he was named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Month. Collins stayed in D.C. through 2009, and spent one more season in the NFL with Chicago.
--- Budd Bailey