News broke Friday that Vince Young, the 31-year-old former NFL wunderkind who retired in June after he couldn't find work as a NFL quarterback, will participate in the league's first annual veteran combine March 22. Young is a fascinating case of phenom-turned-bust-turned-retiree in the span of just eight years.
When he announced his retirement, Young sounded pretty grounded in the decision. In a HuffPost Live interview Friday, however, he told host Nancy Redd that he'd be open to a NFL return and threw some not-so-subtle shade at the quarterback play in the league last year.
"Just watching the season this year, and I don't want to sound mad, there were some very horrible quarterbacks out there this year," Young said. "And they said I'm bad? I should be back there playing football and supporting the game that I love and also entertaining people."
Young burst onto the NFL scene in 2006 after thwarting Heisman winner Reggie Bush in the scintillating 2005 national championship game. He made the Pro Bowl in his first two seasons with the Titans after Tennessee drafted him third overall. His relationship with Titans management had soured by 2011, and the team released Young, then 28, in favor of starting over with Jake Locker (which hasn't exactly worked out).
Young bounced around after his release, seeing his last regular-season action in 2011 with the Eagles but officially leaving the league before the 2014 season after preseason stints with the Bills, Packers and Browns in the following years.
Assuredly, Young is thinking now of how his prime compares to the lower-tier quarterbacks in the league this season. The numbers don't exactly back him up, though. Young's career passer rating of 74.4 would've ranked 32nd out of 33 qualified passers this season. Only once in his career — in 2010, his last year with the Titans — did Young break a 90 passer rating (98.2), and he only played in nine games that season.
Young said Friday he is still working out, just in case a call comes. And to his credit, 31 is nowhere near ancient for NFL quarterbacks. Fortunately for him, he gets to try and prove it March 22.
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