It’s hard to come by a winning quarterback on the open market in the NFL, but there’s still one man out there that was once a rising star before locker room issues derailed a promising career.
Vince Young hasn’t taken a regular season snap since his short stint with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011. Before that, he was the Tennessee Titans’ franchise passer, but mental toughness issues created a rift between him and then head coach Jeff Fisher. Young and Fisher both left the team following 2010, but unlike Fisher, Young has been unable to find his footing in the post-Titans era.
The latest team to take a look at Young is the Cleveland Browns, who scheduled Young to take a physical on Monday and work out with the team through this week’s minicamp. While Young, who is still only 30 years old, wouldn’t provide a long-term solution for the Browns, he could give them some depth to work with, especially if Brian Hoyer can’t return to form after last year’s short, but very successful, run with the team before getting knocked out for the season with an injury.
In some ways, Vince Young was ahead of the curve back in 2006, his rookie campaign. He entered the league before athletic quarterbacks became the new trend, and he used that to his advantage. One of the reasons he seemed set to take off as an NFL quarterback was simply due to his ability to avoid sacks and turn busted plays into huge momentum swings for the Titans.
It’s that same explosiveness that would make him a very interesting fit with the Browns. In an open competition, he’d likely be able to hold his own against Hoyer, and with no long-term solutions currently with the team, it makes sense for the Browns to throw a low risk, high reward player like Young into the mix.
Young has always struggled with the pressures of playing in the NFL, even squandering a fortune that he earned with the Titans. Young settled his bankruptcy case this year, which should limit his off-field distractions. Without too many chances left, one would believe that Young would be a highly driven player. An incentive laden contract should be enough to get Young to give everything he has to give for whichever team is willing to take a shot at him.
There’s no guarantee that Young will be able to stick with the Browns, but if I’m in the shoes of general manager Ray Farmer, why not take a shot on Young? He may have had his issues, but he was a winner in Tennessee, and he’s more driven now than ever before. In my mind, and I do realize I’m working with less knowledge of the situation than Farmer, it’s a no-brainer. Young is a low cost investment that could pay out huge dividends.