Jeff Fisher wanted to see Titus Young for himself. Apparently, he didn’t like what he saw. The St. Louis Rams were awarded Young off waivers after being the only team to put in a claim for the wide receiver. Fisher’s no-nonsense approach ultimately dictated that a team with a roster full of young, largely unproven talent at the position will pass on utilizing Young’s services at a discounted rate.
That makes the road to the Hall of Fame a little more difficult for Young.
Never needed the money Give me a dollar and a ball bet I come back #HallofFame— Titus D Young Sr (@TitusDYoungSr) January 25, 2013
Young’s off-field issues were frequently exposed during his tenure with the Detroit Lions. On the field, he caught 81 passes for 990 yards and 10 touchdowns in 26 games opposite Calvin Johnson. Of his catches, 65.4 percent went for first downs. But he thought he was better than the game’s single-season receiving yardage record-holder.
Oh I'm not done, if y'all going to cut me let me go. I'm tired of the threats— Titus D Young Sr (@TitusDYoungSr) January 25, 2013
He asked the team to release him—via Twitter, of all means—so it makes sense that Coach Fisher’s evaluation of the player didn’t rely on interviews from his former workplace. The Lions aren’t exactly motivated to say glowing things about him. Per Rams senior writer Nick Wagoner, Fisher told his audience at a news conference:
We saw Titus as an outstanding young player…We did not do any background research as far as contacting people at Detroit. We are all about trying to improve this roster. We felt like by claiming Titus we would have the opportunity to spend a good deal of time with him. We did so…as an organization at the end of the interview process, let’s call it, we decided it was best for us to go a different direction.
That says a lot about how St. Louis is handling its personnel decisions as an organization. Led by Fisher and general manager Les Snead, the team is not afraid to take chances on talent—or to cut bait with problematic characters.
The Rams still need plenty of hands on deck to catch the football. Young’s just won’t be two of them—and it’s hard to imagine him being picked up by another team at this point. He was still on his rookie deal and set to make just over half a million dollars in 2013 with his guaranteed money already off the table.
There was—and will continue to be—extremely limited financial risk with Young, but it’s not about the finances with this guy. Detroit had to spend a second-round pick on him and endure several instances of negative press situations over two years to learn that he wasn’t a fit for their organization. St. Louis only sacrificed a few days, but it taught the rest of the NFL a lesson that it may have already known: Young isn’t ready to constructively contribute to a professional football environment.
For his sake, we can only hope that he will be. Otherwise, his final career yardage will fall 10 short of 1,000 yards—and 974 short of Megatron’s 2012 campaign.
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