Titus Young, the latest player to test the patience of an NFL team and exploit the dangers of having a young firecracker on your roster. He’s the poster child for the term “character risk.” Starting with his collegiate days at Boise State, Young has never been short of words…or actions for that matter. He was suspended for the majority of his Sophomore year at Boise State after starting a fight with a teammate, an action that would happen more than once during his career. After Detroit took a chance on him in the second round of the 2011 draft, many teams sighed in awe as the Lions took him fairly early for being such a “character risk.” Fans and management around the NFL thought for sure he would have dropped to the latter rounds of the draft, go undrafted, or get lucky and get taken by previously troubled NFL teams (Bengals, Raiders, etc.). In training camp of 2012, Young was kicked off the field and shortly suspended for sucker-punching and initiating a fight with teammate Louis Delmas. In November of 2012, Titus was sent home several times for conduct detrimental to the team. According to Lions coaches, Young was purposely lining up in the wrong position, running only the routes he chose, gave up on routes, and finally got into a heated, public confrontation with Lions wide receivers coach, Shawn Jefferson. Titus was then deemed inactive for the Thanksgiving game and put on injured reserve for the rest of the season. He was then told to stay away from team facilities entirely.
Bottom line: Titus Young is a cancer in the locker room and any team in the NFL. He clearly is convinced he is better than he really is. The dude has been in the league for two seasons and feels he is better or at-par with former teammate and class act, Calvin Johnson (he has openly said so). Calvin Johnson?! Are you kidding?! We’re talking about 2,000+ yard, Megatron, better-double-team-him-or-you’re-cooked, Calvin Johnson. Calvin Johnson is the best WR in the NFL and the best Lion since Barry Sanders. He eats guys like Titus Young for breakfast every morning. Young needs some meds if he thinks he’s even in the same ballpark as CJ.
2013 Lions Calendar Cover Boy. Oops.
Being born and raised in Metro Detroit, I have followed the Lions religiously since I popped out of the womb with a pigskin. With that said, this move to dump Titus Young is the best thing the team has done as of late. We (Detroit) has spent far too much time trying to revive headcases and divas—examples of Charles Rogers and Mike Williams come to mind (other wasted high draft picks.) It’s scary to think what kind of quality players we could have had that may have shifted the way our luck has been for the past decade. Examples of guys taken later in that 2011 draft include: Torrey Smith, Randall Cobb, Demarco Murray, Stevan Ridley, Denarius Moore, and Richard Sherman. Arguably three-quarters of those are Pro Bowl caliber athletes. Titus Young isn’t even in the same realm as any of those players.
Someone will take a chance on Titus, but the relationship probably won’t last long. Scenario 1: He will take a significant pay-cut to prove himself on a one-year deal with a team that expertise’s in restoring athlete’s reputation and conduct (a team like the Bengals or Raiders.) Scenario 2: A team that is borderline desperate for a wide-out will give him a decent amount of money and feel the repercussions of his actions—ultimately cutting him. Most likely, he isn’t a guy that will make it out of a training camp in the NFL. His conduct is too much of a liability and he’s lacks the motivation and drive that makes a team player. You don’t build a team around a Titus Young. Guys like him fade off into the sunset and are never heard of again (reference: Charles Rogers, Maurice Clarett). After Young was put on injured reserve by Detroit for the rest of the season, he posting publicly via Twitter that he would retire effective immediately if he doesn’t get the ball more and is not part of his team’s future plans. Well, pack your shit.
If your team is dumb enough to take a gamble on Young, brace yourself. Dude needs the same shrinks/meds as Brandon Marshall and bodyguard/life coaches as “Pac Man” Jones.