"What do you mean I was cut? I was just playin'!"
Lions announce they've released troubled WR Titus Young. Had to be done. He did this to himself.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) February 4, 2013
Young was a cancer and that it took this long to deal with him is hard to believe, but it was a move that was fairly inevitable.
Young's delayed release is either a sign of a team desperate to convince someone to take him off their hands or one that was trying hard to repair the breach.
All I know is this was like watching a parent tell his kid no over and over again, threaten consequences and never follow up.
Young had to go. He had other teammates speaking out against him, he sucker-punched Louis Delmas over the summer and he lined up in the wrong position on the field, on purpose.
There was no way he was coming back into the locker room. None. How could he when he publicly spit in the face of both his coach and the franchise?
Whether this was a decision prompted by head coach Jim Schwartz, general manager Marty Mayhew or both, this is a hopeful sign that the franchise is finally trying to plant a little law and order for the team.
I have said several times that if the Lions want to rebound from an awful 2012, they need to give Schwartz whatever tools he requires to get this team under control.
This shouldn't be the end of it either. While more heads shouldn't roll, Schwartz and Mayhew should have a long, frank conversation with every player on the roster reminding them that they are Lions and represent the team at all times.
And they need to grow up.
The only drawback to this release is that it highlights Detroit's desperation for a wide receiver. We don't know what shape Nate Burleson will be in when he returns from his broken leg—and he was already losing a step. Meanwhile Ryan Broyles tore the ACL in his right leg in December and Adrian Peterson's amazing rehab notwithstanding, it's rare to see someone back in uniform that quickly, much less effectively.
There are some free agent wide receivers, but how hard the Lions can go after any of them depends on what they decide to do with their current crop of free agents.
Even if they draft someone, it's a very rare rookie wide receiver who is reliable out of the gate.
Calvin Johnson is, well Calvin Johnson, but just throwing it to him didn't win games. They need to give him and Matt Stafford some help.
They had to get rid of Young, yes. Long term, it was the right move.
Short term, it might be problematic.
Still, this is a good move and one which hopefully begins a sea change in how this team deals with it's players and discipline.