Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

05 Jan 2011

Titans to Part Ways with Vince Young

Titans owner Bud Adams released a statement this afternoon that the Titans would be moving on at quarterback, and Vince Young would not be on the team next season. Adams is continuing to evaluate the Titans' coaching staff.

The Titans will look to trade Vince Young, but with $12.75 million due between a roster bonus and salary in 2011 I would not expect any takers. He could be released as soon as February 7, but a trade could not be completed until the first day of the new league year, whenever that ends up being.

Any guesses for who will be willing to take a chance on Young?

Posted by: Tom Gower on 05 Jan 2011

82 comments, Last at 08 Jan 2011, 12:11pm by Mr Shush


by Nathan :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 9:43pm


by BroncosGuyAgain (not verified) :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 9:55pm


The bit about evaluating the coaching staff is a bit alarming. Because Bud is being forced to release his pet project he twists Fisher in the wind in retaliation? Fisher is not without faults, but are there really better replacements?

by RichC (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 9:17am

Well, this is the second quarterback that Fisher has got in a fight with, and run out of town.

I don't get the Fisher love. He's been there 15 years. 7 of them the team has gone 8-8 or 7-9. Three they've gone 6-10 or worse. They've had three 13-13 seasons, and then one 10-6, one 11-5, one 12-4.

That doesn't seem like an elite coach to me, that seems like an average team that gets some lucky bounces some years, and some poor bounces other years. Plus, most of the good performances came 7+ years ago. (and its not like the AFC south has been all that tough, besides Indy)

The last 7 years, they're 54-58, and thats being buoyed up by one 13-3 season.

by Shattenjager :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:41pm

The "Fisher love" obviously comes from his ability to have coached his team to play ten extra games three times!

(Just a joke--I know you meant 13-3.)

by Noah Arkadia :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 1:35pm

According to those numbers, he's 3 over par. That's not bad.

by Tom Gower :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 3:05pm

McNair and Fisher had absolutely no fight at all, and one of the reasons the McNair thing went down the way it did was Fisher was out of town when it happened (which was intentional on the part of McNair's agent).

by RickD :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:31pm

I think Young would be a good fit for Oakland, depending on the coaching.

by Nathan :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:50pm


the one word answer may have seemed sarcastic but it makes sense on a number of levels

by Duff Soviet Union :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 7:47am

Hmmm. The Raiders already have a receiver who thinks he's a running back, a full back who thinks he's a wide receiver, a running back with more receiving DYAR than rushing DYAR and a receiver who is probably a better blocker than catcher (Louis Murphy). Why not add Vince Young to this mix and officially have the weirdest offence of all time?

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 9:54pm

Denver should, because a creative OC could come up with some awesome option/wildcat-type packages with him and Tebow on the field at the same time, but it won't happen.

by tuluse :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 9:57pm

Not just that, but you would have a back up for when the first one inevitably gets hurt.

Should also try to grab Pat White while they're at it.

by Shattenjager :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:40pm

The Kansas City Royals may want to keep him.

by mm (not verified) :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:26pm

Others on this site have put forward the idea that running QBs in the NFL should be substituted like RBs. Have 2 or 3 and switch them in often. This helps keep any 1 from getting too many hits, and the team can feel more confident calling frequent runs.

by omahastakes (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 1:06am

QB's don't get hurt from hits when they run, it's when they stand in the pocket and whacked and blind-sided. Enough with the anxiety about running QBs, they run fine from high school through college and then pros coach em out of running, that's how they get hurt.

by FooBarFooFoo (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 5:02am

Yeah sure ... Aaron Rodgers will certainly agree to that (because he can't remember). And Vick probably too.

The other thing: Anybody with two eyes will quickly see that switching back and forth between qbs is the worst thing you can do. Has anybody ever "developed" a qb by pulling him over and over?

by BucNasty :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 6:59am

Andy Reid?

by turbohappy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 11:28am

There's a difference between a plan where both people play and pulling them because of poor performance, IMO.

by dsouten :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 10:41am

"QB's don't get hurt from hits when they run"

Vick this year?

by fyo :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:26pm

You can add aforementioned Pat White to that list.

I think Trent Green actually suffered a concussion running the same year (also for the Dolphins).

by BigCheese :: Sat, 01/08/2011 - 3:17am

He was trying to tackle during a turnover IIRC.

- Alvaro

by Nathan :: Sat, 01/08/2011 - 11:13am

He was trying to blow out someone's knee during a turnover IIRC.


by Mr Shush :: Sat, 01/08/2011 - 12:11pm

Correct - it was then-Texans DT Travis Johnson.

by Drunkmonkey :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 9:55pm


by Randy Hedberg (not verified) :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 9:56pm

The NFC West, other than the Rams.

by dryheat :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:37pm

He's certainly not worse than anybody the 49ers are going to put out there.

by Michael LaRocca (not verified) :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:50pm

Carolina? I can't even decide if I'm serious.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:06pm

As a Bucs fan, I support anything that reduces the chances of Carolina drafting Andrew Luck.

by AllenHolt (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:55pm

Yeah, but think about how awesome the next 7-10 years of Freeman vs. Luck matchups could be. :)

by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 1:12pm

You mean Freeman vs. Luck vs. Ryan vs. Brees. That would be a rather impressive run of QBs for a division, no?

by LukeM :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:13pm


by Key19 :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:15pm

Vikings? Think about it: They pick at #12, which could realistically leave them with the 4th-best QB in the draft. I would say that CAR, BUF, CIN, ARI, SF, TEN, and WAS are all QB-needy teams, and I have a hard time seeing only one or two select a QB. CAR is almost a given for Luck at this point (assuming his availability), so that means only ONE other team in that list could take a QB for them to have a chance at Newton/Mallett. I don't see Newton and Mallett both making it past all of those other guys, so I see the Vikings as being a major player for Vince Young.

by K (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 10:12am

Vince Young is Tarvaris Jackson, plus 2 Rose Bowl MVPs.

689 for 1190, 57.9%, 8098 yds, 42 td, 42 int, 6.8 YPA, 75.7 rating.
354 for 603, 58.7%, 3984 yds, 24 td, 22 int, 6.6 YPA, 76.6 rating.

by jmaron :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:53pm

wow - that doesn't say much for how Vince Young has performed.

by RichC (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 4:08pm

Vince Young's DVOA:

2008: Hurt
2009: 15.9%
2010: 26.9%

Tavaris Jackson
2007: -5%
2009: 21 attempts(80%)
2008: 10%
2010: -31.4%

Context matters.

by greybeard :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 8:20pm

He threw 58 passes in 2010 and he did not get the starter snaps. Not defending him, but if you are going to put 2009 as 21 attempts there, you should have put the disclaimer for 2010 as well.

by mansteel (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:00am

I just want to remind everyone how unconscionably stupid the Texans were to draft Mario Williams when anybody with any knowledge of the game of football could see that Young (and Reggie Bush!) were going to have HOF careers and...wait a minute...does this mean that drafting is an inexact science? And that I should ignore any pundit who acts and speaks with any degree of confidence come draft day? Why yes, I think it does.

by tuluse :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:11am

I still think that if all the pundits were right about how good Reggie Bush and Mario Williams were going to be, Mario was the right choice. Top flight end always trumps top flight running back.

by Theo :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 9:35am

Before and after the draft these pundits said that Bush was the player to pick, then Young. Leinart even 'fell' to pick #10.

by Duff Soviet Union :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 7:52pm

But, but, but...Young, Bush and Leinart were on national TV more than Mario Williams. Don't you know that automatically makes them better prospects?

by tuluse :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 10:00pm

I meant if they were right about the talent of the respective players.

Anyways, I was convinced Bush wasn't going to be great because of the stupid amount of hype over him. When I hear analysis like "Barry Sanders, but bigger" it makes me convinced the analyst has no idea what he is talking about.

by jbrown (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 2:40am

Thank you. Sadly, there are still too many fans in Houston who think Mario was the worst pick evarrrr.

Someday I will move out of the south...

by Gray Jay (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:23pm

Mario was a poor pick, even if all of the other choices were poorer in retrospect. He's yet another example of Texans' management trying to be the cleverest kids in the room, e.g. Kareem Jackson.

Ironically, what should have happened in the 2006 draft is Houston should have traded down with the Jets. Curtis Martin had just declared his retirement from the Jets and the Jets didn't really have anyone to fill his shoes. I think Cedric Houston was the only other RB they had at the time. Bush would have been a flashy, but logical choice for their management. New York was drafting 4th; they had no shot at any of the top 3 absent a trade up. New York also ended up with the 29th pick in the first round, though I don't remember whether they had it on draft day, or acquired it through draft day wheeling and dealing.

According to the Jimmy Johnson draft pick conversion chart, the 1st pick is worth more than the 4th and 29th combined. Even better from the Texans point of view, as this would further ensure that the Jets would make the deal. The Texans' O-line at that point was atrocious in pass protection, ranking last in sacks and sack rate. Simply copying who the Jets ended up drafting 4th and 29th, D'Brickashaw Ferguson (LT) and Nick Mangold, (C), would have improved the team. If they were satisfied with McKinney at center, then Joe Addai was available at the next pick. Or they could've drafted DeMeco Ryans a few places earlier than they ended up doing, allowing them to look at other good pros from that 2nd round: Greg Jennings, Roman Harper, Marcus McNeill, MJD, Bernard Pollard...

Any of those scenarios would be preferable than being chained to Mario Williams's grotesque salary and lackluster effort. I don't hate Williams's play---he's a perfectly serviceable DE and the best member of their D-Line---but he takes way too many plays off and disappears far too frequently for someone taken number 1 in the draft.

by Eddo :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:49pm

Mario Williams is eighth in the NFL in sacks since 2006. I'd say fans of most teams would gladly take him first overall, his "lackluster effort" nonwithstanding.

by NobleA (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 1:30pm

Well, to be fair, from your own link, Mario Williams has also played in the most games out of the top 25 on that list.

by Dean :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 2:32pm

Is that a bad thing? That tells me he's been both durable and productive.

by jbrown (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 4:47pm

You might want to double check that. The only guys above him to play less games are Abraham and Mathis, unless you mean "games started" but I'm not sure how that is differentiated for some of the players.

by tuluse :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 3:44pm

I'm very wary of fans complaining about a DE's lack of effort after watching Peppers this year. I don't think I've seen him take a single play off or give anything less than his maximum ability.

Maybe Lovie and Marinelli are just better coaches than Fox and the Texan's defensive coordinator, or maybe what looks like taking plays off actually isn't, and maybe disappearing is the offense focusing everything on him because the defense doesn't have a 2nd reliable pass rusher.

by jbrown (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 4:44pm

$this. For the first 2-3 years there was NO other threat, and he still has yet to play for a competent D-coordinator. Oh and he has played through a hernia and plantar fascitis, so "lack of effort" could mean "wow this really hurts but I'm fighting through it best I can". Some people need to stick to the comicle comments section.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 10:20pm

As an English fan of the Texans who watches every game they play, I find the attitude of many Houston fans to Mario Williams absolutely incomprehensible. He is the team's second best player (after Johnson) and its most important. He is at least arguably the best player to come out of the 2006 draft class, and probably somewhere between the third and fifth best player picked first overall in the last twenty years. Raw sack numbers probably under-rate him, if anything, in that he plays the run well, is continuously double teamed, and has spent his entire career playing with awful secondaries (which is why he is always so high in the hurries charts). What the hell more do people want?

by Breet (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:34am

Before Kenny Britt's injury the Titans had one of the top offenses in the league, then they kind of fell apart after the Vince Young hissy-fit. But potential QBs should be salivating over the Titans job. They have one of the best O-lines in the game, a solid rushing attack, and Britt is a beast who isn't even close to reaching his prime yet. They might even consider trading up in the draft because QB1 is such a glaring void on their depth chart.

As for Vince, he throws deep more than any other quarterback, so I think a team with good deep threat receivers would be a good fit for him. The best option would be Arizona with Breaston/Fitzgerald, then maybe San Fran, Buffalo, or Denver. Denver would certainly be interesting with Tebow there as well.

by Josh :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:52am

They do not have one of the best O-Lines in the game. The interior line is a mess, and they're ranked 31st in ALY.

by Dave Bernreuther :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 1:47am

Too bad the Cards cut Leinart. A Leinart-Young competition would be pretty entertaining.

by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 4:45am

Disagree - it would only be entertaining for about half a minute in that 'reliving that old Rose Bowl game' way.

Any competition in which one guy has some talent and the other guy has no talent but some looks is bound to be disappointing.

Irrelevant, odd side note - my Captcha is 'scouted Crochogr'. It may be the first time I've been scouted by a crochogr.

by Israel P. (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 6:11am


He could mentor Colt McCoy. One Texas guy to another.

by tonic889 (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 10:41am

How bout Detroit? He re-unites with former Titans coordinator Jim Schwartz and provides an injury prone replacement level QB for their injury prone replacement level QB..

by Nathan :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:04pm

I don't get this. Do people actually think that Stafford hasn't shown quite a bit of promise? Yeah he's had injury problems but from where I'm standing he's produced pretty well when he's been on the field.

Replacement level? Wasn't he at +10% dvoa this year? And 6/1 TD/INT ratio? And +30% passer rating over his rookie year? And +6% completion percentage?

I am by no means a Stafford homer, I actually had some serious doubts about his accuracy coming out of college but he's made strides towards winning me over when I've seen him play.

by Dean :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:14pm

From a distance, it seems to me that the mentality (on this site anyway) isn't that Stafford is a bad QB, but that he's never going to be healthy.

Cherry-picked stat alert: Sam Bradford (he of the questionable shoulder) has already started more games in the NFL than Matthew Stafford.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 1:09pm

He played three games this year, so not sure that DVOA much matters in terms of the very small sample size. I'm also curious as to how much of a Megatron effect there is on his DVOA; in other words, WR1 vs. everybody else. Didn't watch much of the Lions, but in the Bucs game Hill just tossed the ball to Calvin over and over and he pretty much single-handedly destroyed the defense.

by mawbrew :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 2:05pm

It's hard to get too excited about Stafford when Hill did just as well (arguably better) in his play on the same team. As someone else mentioned having Megatron (I had doubts about him coming out of college that have proven way off) to throw to makes a big difference.

by Nathan :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 2:21pm

Hill is an 8 year veteran who has reached his ceiling. Stafford, for all intents and purposes, just finished his rookie season.

by greybeard :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 8:26pm

At this rate in 2015 he will finish his sophomore year ;)

On a serious note Hill has started only 26 games so far. Less than 2 years worth of starts. Stafford has started in 13 games.

by tuluse :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 3:41pm

I don't think he's shown much at all. We barely know anything more about Stafford now then we did when he was drafted. Which is dangerous Lions fans this is how Rex Grossman happens.

by MJK :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:37pm

OK, first of all, does anyone else think it's really dumb for an owner to come out an announce that a team is going to part ways with a flashy player who is still under contract? By doing so, you instantly scuttle any trade market there might have been. We saw that when the Pats were going to trade Matt Cassel (every team knew that the Pats had to unload him fast to clear cap room). The only reason why it didn't happen so much with Jay Cutler when Bowlen publicly announced he wanted him out of town was that about three teams were bidding against one another.

If the Titans kept folks in the dark about their true intentions regarding Young, another team might have been willing to throw a draft pick their way and pick him up in trade. Now, especially given his contract, no team will do so...he's not going to be sought after enough for anyone to worry about a free agent bidding war, so an interested team will just wait till he's cut and scoop him up for free.

I hate it when owners meddle or interfere with the business running of their teams.

That said, if he is released, I see Washington as being a potential landing place. I think Shanahan has enough ego to think he can "fix" the personality issues with Young, is in need of a QB, like QB mobility, and likes a deep throwing QB. Plus, Snyder loves picking up free agent additions and fears the draft.

by are-tee :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 1:02pm

That was my reaction, too. You can trade a player with a big contract, if you condition the trade on his negotiating a new one.

If the Eagles don't re-sign Vick, Young might be a good fit for them.

by Dean :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 2:35pm

Philly? That makes no sense whatsoever. None.

Even if you don't franchise the dogkiller, at this point, AJ Feeley is a better option than VY.

EDIT: I meant Kevin Kolb, but I might rather have a dependable guy like Feeley as my backup rather than a headcase. Regardless, Kolb over Young in a heartbeat.

by Pass to Set Up ... :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 3:34pm

Yeah, but that doesn't mean it won't happen. I could see Howie Roseman trading Kolb to the Titans in exchange for Young and some draft picks. Kolb would do well in Tennessee behind a good line, and VY could try to learn something from the repentant Vick.

by Dean :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 3:48pm

Let me be the one to break your bubble. It won't happen.

Even if you franchise the dogkiller, he's one birthday party away from going back into the clink. Kolb is under contract and has the professionalism not to be a distraction. Trading Kolb doesn't make sense. And trading him for a guy who isn't even any good makes even less sense.

This is like suggesting trading David Legwand and some draft picks for Jeff Carter.

by RichC (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 4:12pm

" And trading him for a guy who isn't even any good makes even less sense. "

DVOA think Young is a much better QB than Kolb.

by Dean :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 4:18pm

It does? Since when did DVOA achieve sentience?

by Bnonymous (not verified) :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 10:37am

Aren't you the one who's always pointing out how DVOA is useless to measure individual players?

by Southern Philly :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 2:50am

That's worse than trading Kolb for Young. Carter's essentially an irreplaceable player.

by Noah Arkadia :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 1:40pm

Everyone knew it was him or Fisher. If you can't get an advantage, why not do the classy thing.

by Gray Jay (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:53pm

I'd like to see him with the Texans, after being cut of course---$12.75M for him is silly. Houston's his hometown; he hopefully would have a support structure for him; if nothing else, Kubiak knows offense; and he wouldn't be called upon to start right away. Schaub is without a doubt the starter, but he has been fragile in the past. Further, I don't think anyone at the Texans really trusts Orlovsky or Leinart, but VY could serve in a pinch, especially if he learns more of the mental side of quarterbacking. Of course, the Texans and Kubiak thought they could rehabilitate David Carr from the excesses of the Capers regime, and that didn't turn out too well...

by Joseph :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 2:07pm

Some suggestions:
KC, with the clear understanding that he is Cassel's backup, with the possibility to run some option packages with Jamaal Charles.
OAK is a very real possibility--we don't know who the next coach will be, but I don't get the idea that they are confident in Campbell/Gradkowski. In fact, having him run the option with McFadden & the other RB's, while throwing deep to Ford, Murphy, & DHB might really appeal to Al Davis.
PIT, as a backup to Big Ben?
JAX, to compete with/back up Garrard?

I like VY as a player--but his almost assuredly quality backup. IMO, any team with an injury-prone QB who isn't enamored with their 2nd stringer should at least explore a trade, with the clear understanding his contract will be restructured SIGNIFICANTLY. If not, have him in for a tryout after he is cut. I would think that he would be one of the better backups in the league, and might be an upgrade at starter for a few teams. Of course, I think these teams will be trying to get a good QB at the top of the draft, not treading water for a year or two with VY.

by Spielman :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 2:38pm

Has there ever been another player who made multiple Pro Bowls with as little justification as Vince Young?

by Dean :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 2:57pm

Atlanta era dogkiller.

DeAngelo Hall maybe?

LaVar Arrington?

by BucNasty :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 4:06pm

You can certainly make the case the Vick was the more overrated player, but I don't think you can say that he was less deserving of the Pro Bowl. He set league records in Atlanta that might never be surpassed by a quarterback, and if I remember it right they led the league in rushing several years in a row in large part because of him. Not only did he personally gain hundreds to over 1,000 yards each season, but the threat of the Vick rollout and the need to account for him at all times made the entire attack more successful. He wasn't exactly a proficient passer, but then neither is Young. Vick was more exciting to watch and more productive, so I'd rather see him go to Hawaii than young, who basically made it because people were hoping he'd turn into Vick, minus the Pit Bulls.

by Dean :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 4:09pm

He made it because he was a big star. Not because he was a good player. The Falcons had a limited measure of success in spite of him, not because of him.

by BucNasty :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 5:35pm

Right, but I'd still take him over Vince Young.

by Jim Mora Jr. & Rich McKay (not verified) :: Sat, 01/08/2011 - 4:42am

Actually, the Falcons had their "limited measure of success" because of Vick, and they probably would have had a lot more success had it not been for our combined ineptitude. There's a reason the Falcons fell apart in 2003 and 2007 when Vick got injured.

by tuluse :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 3:46pm

He only made them because other players dropped out. He wasn't voted in.

by Brendan Scolari :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 5:13pm

I don't see how anyone could think Young would go to a team like Houston or KC and be the backup when he could go somewhere like SF and be the clear-cut top QB immediately. Sure, some of the QB-needy teams will draft a top QB, but certainly not all of them. Young will find a home, and it should be as a starter, given his talents.

People forget that Young was actually good this year, he was 5th in Adjusted Yards Per Attempt. And people ALWAYS tend to underestimate the impact running QB's have on teams (see Chris Johnson's 2000 yard season with Young as the starter, LeSean McCoy's breakout season this year, or the seasons Warrick Dunn and TJ Duckett had with Vick in Atlanta). Here's an AdvancedNFLStats article on how people underrate Vick's time in Atlanta: http://www.advancednflstats.com/2009/05/michael-vick-was-better-qb-than-...

There's no question about it, Young deserves a shot to start next year.