BY J.P. SCOTT ON FEBRUARY 16, 2012
For the second time in less than two weeks, NFL wide receiver Titus Young is unemployed.
After a tumultuous 2-year stretch with the Detroit Lions that included punching a teammate, intentionally lining up in the wrong position and claiming to be a better player than Calvin Johnson, he was let go once and for all by the club on February 4th. The St. Louis Rams picked him up the very next day in what looked like a brilliant move to bolster what could become a depleted wide receiving corps after free agency.
Well, so much for that idea. Just ten days later, the Rams released Young. Rams head coach Jeff Fisher was quoted as saying Young was “not the best option” for the Rams.
Titus Young was one of the most prolific college wide receivers in recent history. In just three years at Boise State, Young racked up 204 catches for 3063 yards and 25 touchdowns. He drew comparisons to DeSean Jackson and Brandon Lloyd during the period leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft. When the Lions took him with the 44th overall pick, it seemed like it was the best possible scenario for Young to have a successful career. He could eventually work his way into the No. 2 spot opposite of Calvin Johnson and draw one-on-one coverage every play. You can’t ask for much more than that.
Somehow, Titus Young, like many young and talented players, has managed to squander a chance at greatness. The kid has world class speed and dependable hands. That alone should be able to keep him employed into his mid-30’s. Instead, his persona has made him a tainted product that teams with serious championship aspirations will likely avoid at all costs.
I don’t know Titus Young. I don’t know his demons or what it is that burns him. What I do know is that if he can ever find a way to overcome his issues, he can be a superstar. He has an uphill climb, however, as there are not many teams with wide receiver issues bad enough to take a gamble on a guy with his baggage, especially with 8-10 legitimate NFL starters up for grabs in the 2013 class of wide receivers.
I rooted for Young while he was at Boise State. I rooted for him to break out as a superstar in Detroit. I’ll now root for someone to give the kid one more chance at an NFL career. If he squanders that chance as he has done with the others he has been given so far, it will be extremely difficult for me to root for him again — not because I won’t want to, but because it is extremely difficult to root for a player who is nowhere to be found on anyone’s radar.