When the Lions released Titus Young last week, it shouldn't have come as much of a surprise to anyone. The former second-round pick in the 2011 draft may have oozed talent out the wazoo, but his on and off-field problems were just too much for a team that has been desperate to find a legit No. 2 across from Calvin Johnson.
Young's resume of problems reads like a combo of every diva receiver that's ever played the game:
- He was suspended for most of his sophomore year at Boise State when he got into an altercation with a teammate.
- In May of 2012, he sucker punched Louis Delmas during an offseason workout.
- Was called for a personal foul against the Rams in Week One after he headbutted cornerback Janoris Jenkings.
- Of course the biggest coup de gras of them all was when the Lions revealed Young, who knew he wasn't getting the ball on two plays, purposely lined up wrong against the Packers. The Lions, of course, wound up losing that game 24-20. He also got into a heated argument with receivers coach Shawn Jefferson in the same game.
Hell even the combination of Randy Moss, Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens weren't THAT bad.
Once the Packers debacle came to light, the Lions were forced to bench Young for the rest of the season. After that it was a matter of when, not if, the Lions would release him. Throughout the playoffs, the Lions and head coach Jim Schwartz hinted that there could have been a chance Young would be welcomed back, but the separation was inevitable. So on February 4th, the Lions waived Young and are now either back in the market for a No. 2 receiver, or have to hope Nate Burleson or Ryan Broyles can finally live up to the task.
As for Young's journey; it came as a surprise, or maybe not, that the Rams put in a waiver bid and won the rights to Young's contract. Signed on the cheap through the next two year, the pick up for the Rams made sense. Danny Amendola is an unrestricted free agent and could sign elsewhere if the money is right. Jeff Fisher has also showed he is willing to deal with troubled players. Cornerback Courtland Finnegan comes to mind when both were with Tennessee. And while the rest of the receiving corps has talented players like Chris Givens and Brian Quick, none have the IT factor like Young had. Maybe he's a bad-character guy. But when he puts it all together on the field, Young can be a baller. As it turns out, the Rams were the only team to take a chance on the troubled young receiver and put in a waiver claim. That doesn't bode well for Young's future.
Once I found out that Young was in St. Louis, I took a chance in my dynasty league and picked him up, while sending Saints running back Chris Ivory to the scrap heap. It was a low-risk, high-reward situation. At best, Young is talented enough to push for a starting job. Especially if Amendola leaves. At worst, Young gets cut.
Well, the worst-case scenario came to fruition when the Rams, after putting Young through an extended interview process, decided he just wasn't worth the trouble and waived him this past Friday. I'd love to know more, but Jeff Fisher didn't go into much detail at his Friday press conference. That put Young's status as a Ram at a whopping 9 days. 9 Days!!!!! Not even a chance to put in an offseason practice. The situation reminded me of the movie Friday with Ice Cube and Chris Tucker. Cube's character Craig winds up being fired on his day off. Smokey (Tucker) asks his friend "How the hell you going to get fired on your day off?!?" Same goes for Young. If all he did was interview, it must have been a train wreck from the start. He probably never even had a chance to try on a Rams helmet.
Now that he was waived twice in 2 weeks, I doubt there is another team who will have changed their minds about the once promising player from Boise State. If a major injury goes down in training camp, maybe there is a chance. My hope is that the Rams debacle humbled Young a bit and put his future as an NFL player into better perspective. But for a kid who told his high school football coach that he's "better than Calvin Johnson," I don't think there is an NFL helmet big enough to fit that swollen ego.