Quarterback Vince Young hasn’t played a down in the NFL since 2011. After bouncing around several minicamps and failing to sign with a team, the number three overall pick in 2006 has announced his retirement. Well, sort of. “I'm retired," Young told KXAN in Austin, Texas. "Unless we get a great opportunity, something guaranteed. It's definitely official, I think, in my book."
Assuming his miraculous opportunity never comes along, Young is done with the NFL. Or, you could also say the NFL is done with Young. So what kind of impression did Young leave on the league since being drafted by the Tennessee Titans?
Young was impressive coming out of the University of Texas, notching a 30-2 record as a starter, winning a National Championship and finishing second in Heisman Trophy voting behind Reggie Bush. That led the Titans to draft him with their first-round pick.
In his first season as a starter, Young led the Titans to eight wins, including six straight. He set a then NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback and was named the Associated Press Offensive NFL Rookie of the Year. Young also was named to the Pro Bowl. However, his passer rating was a measly 66.7, ranking 30th in the NFL that season.
The following year, the Titans made the playoffs, finishing 10-6 on the season. Young’s TD to interception ratio was not impressive, throwing just nine touchdowns to 17 interceptions. Young’s first playoff game resulted in a 17-6 loss to the Chargers. Young’s passer rating that game was 53.5.
Over the next three seasons, Young would not only battle veteran Kerry Collins for the starting job, but engage in a tumultuous dynamic with head coach Jeff Fisher. When Young was injured early in the 2008 season, he assumed the back-up role behind Collins. When the Titans began the 2009 season 0-6 under Collins, Fisher handed the starting job back to Young. Young responded, winning eight of his ten starts and making the Pro Bowl once again. Young, however, never seemed to regain the confidence of his head coach and was released by the Titans in 2011.
Young signed with the Eagles in 2011, but only started three games, finishing 1-2 on the season. Since then, Young has signed one-year deals with the Bills, Packers and Browns, but was subsequently released by each team without ever taking a regular season snap.
It’s hard to say Young was a bust in the NFL, especially when names like JaMarcus Russell, Tim Couch and Ryan Leaf come to mind. Despite setting numerous NCAA records with the Longhorns, like so many other players, Young’s transition to the NFL was not an easy one. Unfortunately for Young, numbers don’t lie. He finished his career with 46 passing touchdowns and 51 interceptions, including a 57.9 completion percentage.
Young has now moved on, yet still cites his relationship with coach Fisher as hurting his career, which may or may not be the case. "I had my ups and downs," Young told KXAN. "I made the mistake of getting in to it with my coach, and that kind of hurt me a whole lot. When you go to different teams, they already have a bad perception of you. When that's out there, there's nothing you can do."