The Detroit Lions officially cut ties with wide receiver Titus Young on Monday, granting the young wide out the release that he "kind of" asked for. Young was the No. 44 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, making him a second rounder.
Coming out of college, he was regarded as a consistent player with good hands and a lot of upside in the NFL, but had off the field baggage that any team would have to deal with.
Young's career with the Lions, who clearly could afford the time and effort to at least try to set him on the right path with a guy like Calvin Johnson leading the receivers, was short, obviously. On the field, Young caught 48 passes for 607 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games in 2011. This past season, he had four touchdowns and 383 yards in 10 games.
I'd like to say that the issues that forced his release were "off the field," but technically, many of them were on. He sucker punched safety Louis Delmas in practice and was asked to leave the facility, and even lined up in the wrong position in an actual game to "increase" his chances of getting the ball.
He was asked to leave practice multiple times and eventually was just abandoned as a whole. Young took to Twitter and Tweeted that the team needed to just release him and that he was tired of the threats. He also stated, multiple times, that he was just as good as Calvin Johnson, so there's that.
Young is a self-absorbed, delusional, hot-headed, immature player who has hurt his team on and off the field. Let it be known right now that no team will be able to go and sign Young right now and make good things happen with him. It's not a matter of coaching and it's not a matter of the right locker room.
It's a matter of Young getting some serious help and an attitude adjustment. No, he's not on the level of Johnson, but he has a lot of talent and is a young guy, but he needs some real, serious help and I truly hope he gets it because there's clearly a screw lose or two.
That being said, if there is anything there worth looking at after a reasonable period of attempted rehab or something similar, should the 49ers possibly pursue him?
The last thing this team needs is a nuclear distraction in the locker room. And that's why I'm suggesting that Young needs to make a lot of progress off the field first, but I'm still really in love with his talent ceiling. He could be a very solid No. 2 option on most teams in the league given a chance.
I really do think there's a lot to work with and with Randy Moss having been given such a huge role in the Super Bowl, I think the 49ers are hurting for a wide receiver. We don't know what's up with Kyle Williams, Mario Manningham or even A.J. Jenkins.
Young would be a great deep threat to compliment Michael Crabtree and honestly, I'd be all for signing him if this front office and coaching staff were able to sign off on him. That's the kicker for me - I have faith in the guys who run this team in regards to knowing what they can and can't handle, so personally, I'd love the signing.
After some big, big changes, of course.