The Tennessee Titans made official Thursday afternoon what they foretold months earlier. They waived quarterback Vince Young and finally ended a relationship that began with such promise.
His final stat line for the franchise that drafted him third overall in 2006 included as many touchdown passes (42) as interceptions (42), a dozen game-winning drives, which included seven fourth-quarter comebacks, a 57.9 completion percentage and nearly twice as many victories as a starter (30) than defeats (17).
Not revealed in the numbers are the tantrums — public and private — that irritated coaches and alienated some teammates. His tenure also included reports of meetings to which he arrived late or occasionally not at all and one notable missed flight during his rookie season.
The last of those incidents, when he cursed coach Jeff Fisher and stormed from the locker room following a loss last season to Washington, was the final straw. Young was placed on injured reserve days later because of a thumb injury. And after the season, franchise officials, including owner Bud Adams, said the team planned to cut ties with him.
That line of thought was reinforced following a coaching change in late January, during the NFL draft (when Tennessee selected Washington quarterback Jake Locker eighth overall) and again Wednesday, when the team agreed to contract terms with veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
In the current offseason, condensed by the four-month lockout, teams were allowed to waive players beginning at 3:01 p.m. (CDT) Thursday.
According to a report late in the evening, Young agreed to a one-year contract with Philadelphia several hours after his release.
“We reached out to Vince [Young], [his agent] today to inform them of [his release],” General Manager Mike Reinfeldt said in a statement. “As we have said since January, it was time for us to go in a different direction at quarterback and we have done that.”
Also released were defensive tackle Tony Brown, running back Dominique Lindsay, defensive end Marcus Howard, defensive end Kareem Brown and offensive lineman Jeff Hansen.
Young earned the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award after he started the final 13 games and led the team to eight victories, six in a row at one point. He held the job throughout 2007 and directed another late-season surge (eight victories in the final 10 games) in 2009.
The next season Young helped the team to a wild card berth and made the only postseason appearance of his career. He threw for just 138 yards with one interception and no touchdowns in a 16-7 loss to the San Diego Chargers.
After that, he started just 19 games over the past three seasons. The problems began when he was injured and booed at home in the 2008 season-opener against Jacksonville. That night, family members and team officials lost contact with him and ultimately called upon police to search for him due to fear regarding his mental state. He did not play again that season and the Titans rolled to a league-best 13-3 record behind Kerry Collins before Baltimore upset them in their playoff opener.