Vince Young

Extra Points: Quarterbacks, Newton, Vince Young

This NFL offseason should have one of the busiest quarterback carousels in recent memory. This April’s draft class is widely regarded as being light on day one starters, and as such at least a handful of teams will be in the market for veteran starters. Vets like Joe Flacco, Ryan Tannehill, and Nick Foles will all be on new teams whether through trades or free agency. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports took the time to break down the quarterback situation for nearly every team in the league, examining the situation of every team that will be in the market for either a new starter or a new backup.

The whole piece is worth a read, and among the most notable predictions is Foles landing with the Jaguars. La Canfora writes that “it is clear the Jags are clinging to winning now”, and he thinks they’ll pursue either Foles or Flacco. He also projects Kyler Murray to the Dolphins, Dwayne Haskins to the Giants, and Ryan Fitzpatrick to the Packers as insurance given Aaron Rodgers‘ recent injury history.

Here’s more from around the league, with an eye on the offseason:

  • Speaking of quarterbacks, the Panthers are apparently quite optimistic about Cam Newton‘s recovery from his latest shoulder surgery, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). We heard earlier that the team was hoping Newton would be ready for training camp, but that they’d take it easy with him this Spring. Pelissero now reports that the team believes he could even be well enough recovered to participate in some capacity in Carolina’s OTA sessions in a few months. Pelissero also clarified that there was no structural damage to Newton’s shoulder, and that the Panthers believe the issues that prevented him from pushing the ball deep down the field should now be completely gone next season.
  • Get enough quarterbacks news yet? Well, former NFL quarterback and number three overall pick Vince Young was arrested earlier this week and charged with driving while impaired, according to TMZ.com. Young was also hit with a DUI back in 2016. The former Texas star last was on an NFL roster when he spent two weeks with the Browns during the offseason in 2014. In 2017 he mad a comeback in the CFL, but tore a hamstring in training camp and never appeared in a game.
  • In case you missed it, the Cardinals signed former Falcons cornerback Robert Alford to a three-year deal in a pre-free agency signing.

Saskatchewan Roughriders Cut Vince Young

A potential comeback for Vince Young encountered a significant obstacle. The former NFL offensive rookie of the year and Heisman Trophy winner saw the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders waive him on Saturday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

Young tore his hamstring during Roughriders training camp on June 6, and the 34-year-old is once again without a team, agent Leigh Steinberg told Schefter. Young was vying with CFL veteran Kevin Glenn and former North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams, who started over Mitch Trubisky for two years, with the Roughriders. Young signed a nonguaranteed two-year contract, making a separation easier for Saskatchewan.

The former Titans starter and Texas superstar has not played in an NFL regular-season game since 2011. He saw multiple opportunities in subsequent preseasons but did not stick. The Browns cut him in 2014, and the Packers and Bills, respectively, parted ways with Young after taking him to camp in the two previous seasons.

Young announced his retirement in 2014 but was attempting a comeback with the CFL franchise. This injury is expected to keep him out for more than a month. The CFL regular season starts June 22.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Megatron, Young, Sam, Jets

Former Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson has been observing Raiders practices this week as a guest of offensive coordinator Todd Downing, per Eddie Paskal of Raiders.com. Downing was on Detroit’s staff from 2009-13 – a large portion of Johnson’s career – and while it’s fun to imagine Megatron coming out of retirement to join the Raiders’ high-octane attack, there’s no indication he has any interest in doing so.

More from around the game:

  • Johnson may not be coming out of retirement, but former NFL quarterback Vince Young is returning to the gridiron. Young, who retired in 2014, signed Thursday with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, agent Leigh Steinberg announced (Twitter link). The 34-year-old Young, a former superstar at the University of Texas and the 2006 Offensive Rookie of the Year with the Titans, hasn’t attempted a regular-season pass in the professional ranks since he was a member of the Eagles in 2011.
  • An openly gay player has never played a regular-season NFL game, and it’s likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future, former Eagles/Browns executive and current ESPN analyst Joe Banner told SiriusXM NFL Radio earlier this week (via Sporting News’ Alex Marvez). Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam is the only openly gay player ever drafted, having gone in the seventh round in 2014, but he encountered a media firestorm during his stints with the Rams and the Cowboys during the preseason that year. The media attention that accompanied his short time in the league has likely made teams “a little more hesitant” to welcome an openly gay player, says Banner. For their part, the Browns didn’t regard Sam’s sexuality as an issue, according to Banner.
  • Collette Smith will become the first woman to ever join the Jets’ coaching staff, reports Leonard Greene of the New York Daily News. Smith, who’s a coach and marketing executive with the New York Sharks of the Independent Women’s Football League, will work as a preseason intern with the Jets’ defensive backs during training camp. “I’m over the top. I’m humbled and I’m proud,” said Smith. “This could have happened with any NFL team. But it just so happened that it was with my beloved New York Jets. This is bigger because of that. God forbid it would have been with the Patriots. But I still would have done it.”
  • Vice president of player personnel Adam Peters was one of the driving forces behind the 49ers’ drafting of former Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, writes Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. Before Peters’ hiring in January, general manager John Lynch asked the former Broncos executive whom he’d select with the 49ers’ first-round pick (No. 2 overall). “Without hesitation, he said ‘Reuben Foster,'” stated Lynch. The draft didn’t quite work out the way Peters imagined it then, as the Niners ultimately traded down to third overall and selected ex-Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas with that choice. But San Francisco ended up getting Foster at the end of Round 1, after it moved up to No. 31 overall. “A lot has transpired then and (Peters) loved Solomon Thomas, too, I don’t want to get that mistaken,” said Lynch. “But he was a huge champion of Reuben Foster. Like I said, so much transpired from there to there. But (Peters) was big on that one. I know that.”

Vince Young Could Sign With CFL Team

While former NFL quarterback Vince Young would like to return to the sport’s top league, it appears he’ll have to settle for a job up north. Young’s agent, Leigh Steinberg, is in discussions with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, and it appears he could sign sometime in the next week, according to Dan Ralph of the Canadian Press (via the CFL’s website).

Vince Young (Vertical)

Young, who will turn 34 in May, hasn’t attempted a professional pass since he was a member of the Eagles in 2011. That didn’t go well for Young, who put up four touchdowns against nine interceptions in six appearances (three starts). He then signed one-year deals with the Bills, Packers and Browns in each of the next three years, but he wasn’t able to catch on with any of them. Young retired in 2014, though he has since made multiple attempts to return to the NFL.

A former star at Texas, where he won a national championship, Young spent the majority of his NFL tenure with the Titans, who chose him third overall in 2006. Even though he won a Rookie of the Year and earned two Pro Bowl nods in Tennessee from 2006-10, Young underwhelmed as a passer with the club. In 54 games (47 starts) as a Titan, he completed 57.9 percent of his throws, tossed as many touchdowns as interceptions (42) and averaged just 150 aerial yards per game. The mobile Young did post a strong 5.2 yards-per-carry mark and pick up 12 rushing TDs on 282 attempts as a Titan, though, and the team managed to go 30-17 in his starts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Young, Falcons, Cowboys

Here’s the latest from around the league as teams continue to prepare their free agency plans and Combine itineraries. We’ll begin with a player who’s interested in another NFL comeback.

  • Vince Young‘s agent Leigh Steinberg hinted Saturday that the quarterback was interested in a return to football, but Young will have to work his way through another league — and another country — before reaching the NFL again. Steinberg announced on Twitter today that he’s begun negotiations with the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. Given that Young hasn’t thrown an NFL pass since 2011, he faces a long road back to the league, but the CFL could be the first step in that (admittedly long) journey.
  • The Falcons announced that they’ve hired a swath of new coaches, including Kyle Flood (assistant offensive line), Dave Brock (offensive assistant), Justin Outten (offensive assistant), Charlie Weis Jr. (offensive assistant), and Charlie Jackson (defensive assistant). Flood, a longtime collegiate staffer, was fired as Rutgers’ head coach amid controversy in 2015.
  • Jerome Henderson will return as the Falcons‘ defensive passing game coordinator after missing out on the 49ers’ defensive coordinator position, as Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reports (Twitter links) Henderson has re-signed with Atlanta. Henderson, who originally joined the Falcons prior to the 2016 campaign, was in consideration to serve as San Francisco’s co-defensive coordinator with Robert Saleh, but Saleh alone landed the job. (Editor’s note: PFR originally relayed Marvez’s report indicating Henderson had resigned from the Falcons before the scribe’s source realized he had forgotten a hyphen. We have removed the original post in order to eliminate any confusion.)
  • Would the Cowboys taking an offensive lineman with their No. 28 overall pick sound crazy given their line’s status as arguably the NFL’s best? However, right tackle Doug Free is entering a contract year, and Todd Archer of ESPN.com notes the team could consider Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk with its top pick in a developmental scenario. Archer expects Free to return for the 2017 season. If nothing else, cutting Free — and saving $5MM — would create a hole not easily filled in a weaker tackle market. But the 33-year-old blocker might be entering his final season in Dallas. ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest mock draft (Insider link) has Ramczyk going to the Seahawks at No. 26 and the Cowboys taking Florida cornerback Teez Tabor.
  • The Bears have infiltrated a Las Vegas sports book’s top picks for Tony Romo‘s landing spot. Sportsbook.ag’s R.J. Bell (via the Dallas Morning News) projects the Bears as Romo’s fourth-most likely 2017 employer — behind the Texans, Broncos and Cowboys. Houston’s emerged as the favorite despite the organization’s known stance being to avoid getting involved for Romo. Interestingly, the Chiefs are down at No. 5 after being viewed as a primary destination. ESPN.com also projected a Bears/Romo partnership as being more likely than many believe.

Sam Robinson contributed to this report.

Vince Young To Attempt NFL Comeback?

Former NFL quarterback Vince Young has hired veteran agent Leigh Steinberg, who earlier today tweeted that Young has a “dream of playing more football.”Vince Young (Vertical)

As Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk notes, the word “dream” seems to be the operative word in Steinberg’s tweet, especially given that Young hasn’t attempted an NFL pass since the 2011 season. That’s not meant to sound callous, but instead represents just how difficult it will be for the now 33-year-old Young to return to the NFL

Young, a former third overall selection, signed with the Eagles in 2011 after five seasons in Tennessee, and managed to complete 63 passes for Philadelphia during his one season with the club. Over the next three years, Young had short-lived offseason stints on the Bills, Packers, and Browns rosters, but never made it to the regular season with any team.

After formally announcing his retirement nearly three years ago, Young attempted to attend the NFL’s veteran combine in 2015, but was rejected. Earlier this year, the nascent Spring League invited Young and other former NFL players to join its emerging ranks, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported at the time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Hoyer, Hardy, Morgan, Williams

As we learned earlier today, the Jets aren’t giving up on Brian Hoyer despite reports of the quarterback agreeing to a deal with the Texans. Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Jets spoke with Hoyer’s agent twice Monday, and were set to do so again Monday night.

Here’s more from around the league as on free agency eve…

  • Disputing an earlier report, the Falcons told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that they have no interest in free agent defensive end Greg Hardy.
  • The Buccaneers have been “kicking the tires” on edge rusher Derrick Morgan, but it’s unclear if they’ll actually present him with an offer, according to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune (via Twitter).
  • Defensive tackle Dan Williams could be a target for the Raiders, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN. Williams’ time in Arizona might be up following their signing of Corey Peters earlier tonight.
  • The Titans are in on edge rusher Brian Orakpo, who has drawn interest from numerous teams, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean (via Twitter).
  • Vince Young was not accepted to and won’t attend the NFL Veterans Combine on March 22 in Phoenix, a representative for the quarterback tells Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Smith hears that Young was not “invited” by the NFL and entered late (link). He could wind up as a last-minute addition but as of right now, he won’t be there.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Extra Points: Young, Sam, Cassel, Pats RBs

The NFL will hold its first-ever combine for veteran players March 22 in Tempe, Ariz. Like the scouting combine, which takes place every February and is designed for teams to observe draft prospects, the veteran edition will include position drills and physical tests. At least two household names will be among the 100 invitees participating at the combine. Quarterback Vince Young and defensive end Michael Sam will be in attendance, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com and ESPN’s Adam Schefter, respectively.

Young, whom the Titans chose third overall in the 2006 draft, last appeared in an NFL game in 2011 as a member of the Eagles. The one-time Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Texas announced his retirement last June after a disappointing career that included stints with five different organizations. The 31-year-old Young has had a change of heart, though, and will try to return to the league. His attempt at blazing a comeback trail will begin at the combine.

One of the players joining Young will be Sam, 25, the ex-University of Missouri star who has made headlines since last year as the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL. The seventh-round pick of the Rams last April hasn’t yet appeared in an NFL game and hasn’t been a member of a team since the Cowboys released him from their practice squad in October. Although Tom Pelissero of USA Today reported earlier this month that Sam has a one-year contract offer on the table from the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, Sam wrote last week on MMQB.com that, despite ups and downs, he has “remained focused on getting back on an NFL roster.”

Elsewhere around the league…

  • The Bills were one of two serious contenders for the services of quarterback Josh McCown, who signed with the Browns on Friday. Having lost out on McCown, Buffalo will continue its search for a veteran QB and, per Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo, could turn to the Vikings’ Matt Cassel. Minnesota would save $4.75MM on its 2015 cap by cutting or trading Cassel prior to June 1. The 32-year-old has garnered extensive playing experience (91 games, 71 starts) as a member of three franchises in 10 seasons and, if he ends up with the Bills, could serve as competition for EJ Manuel.
  • Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reported earlier this month that Patriots running back Shane Vereen was hoping to cash in on the free agent market to the tune of $5MM annually. Vereen laughed off the report via Twitter on Thursday and called it “not true.” Vereen, who will turn 26 next week, has been a useful cog in the Pats’ offense the last couple years, especially as a pass catcher. The former second-round pick has hauled in a combined 99 passes and six touchdowns in 24 games over the previous two seasons. As a runner, he has averaged a solid 4.2 yards per carry, albeit on just 217 attempts, during his four-year career.
  • Vereen isn’t the only Pats RB looking toward free agency. Stevan Ridley is also on track to hit the market next month. “I’m excited about it,”  the 26-year-old told Sirius NFL XM hosts Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Friday, according to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. Ridley went on to say that he’d “love” to stay in New England, but acknowledged that signing someplace else could present “more opportunities.” Ridley has averaged 4.3 yards per carry and scored 22 touchdowns in four seasons with the Patriots. His best output was in 2012, when he rushed for the seventh-most yards in the league (1,263) and eight scores.

Extra Points: Reed, Decker, Gordon, Young

We heard a couple months ago that Ed Reed was still hoping to play in the NFL in 2014, but the chances of that happening look slimmer today, after Showtime and CBS announced that the former Ravens safety will join Inside the NFL for the coming season. Bears wideout Brandon Marshall is also a new addition to the show, so Reed’s inclusion doesn’t necessarily rule out his return to the field, but CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus referred in a statement to “Ed just coming off the playing field and Brandon still on it.”

As Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun tweets, Reed said today that he may “never” officially announce his retirement, so while we shouldn’t close the book on his career quite yet, it’s possible we’ve seen the veteran take the field for the last time.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Wideout Eric Decker spoke to Brian Costello of the New York Post about how some offseason online research on Geno Smith helped convince him to sign with the Jets. “I was impressed by the games I watched of Geno, and then I Googled and YouTubed interviews to get a feel of who he was as a person more than just the physical skill on the field,” Decker said. “That’s a big thing.”
  • As the Browns await final word on Josh Gordon’s suspension, they’ve been proactive about lining up a support system and possible treatment for the wideout if he has to spend a significant amount of time away from the team, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
  • According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the NFL is mulling harsher penalties for domestic abuse incidents, including potential season-long suspensions for repeat offenders. The move, which remains under consideration, is undoubtedly related to Ray Rice‘s modest two-game ban for a domestic abuse incident, and all the negative publicity that decision garnered.
  • Two months after announcing his retirement from the NFL, Vince Young has accepted a job at his alma mater, with the University of Texas announcing today that the former quarterback will serve as a development officer for program alumni relations.

Vince Young Announces Retirement

It appears as if Vince Young‘s career as a National Football League quarterback is over.

According to Brent Carney of kxan.com, the former Texas Longhorn who spent his first five years with the Titans has called it quits.

“It’s definitely official I think in my book,” Young said. “Unless we get a great opportunity, something guaranteed … other than that I’ve started moving forward in some things.

“I love the NFL, will love the game always but I’m kind of moving forward and moving on right now.” 

Young signed with the Browns in early May, but was released less than two weeks later following the team’s minicamp. He went to training camp with the Packers in 2013 and Bills in 2012, but was released by each team prior to the start of the regular season. His last significant on-field action came in 2011 with the Eagles, starting three games and totaling four touchdowns and nine interceptions.