Cutting Titus Young Was the Only Decision for the Detroit Lions

Dean Holden@@Dean_HoldenAnalyst IFebruary 5, 2013

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 28:  Titus Young #16 reacts to a late fourth quarter call during the game against the Seattle Seahwaks at Ford Field on October 28, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Seahwaks 28-24.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Per ESPN and the Detroit Lions' official website, Titus Young has officially tweeted, sucker-punched and complained his way out of Motown.

Now Young can finish what he started back in December and line up intentionally on the road out of town.

Young's release from the team makes official what is likely Martin Mayhew's worst mistake as Lions' GM: drafting Young 43rd overall over Torrey Smith, Greg Little and Randall Cobb.

Cutting Young as the first official post-Super Bowl roster move, however? That wasn't just a good decision, it was the only decision. Young had only been in Detroit for two years and yet he needed more "chances" than can be counted on one hand.

The Lions cannot be blamed for Young's release, other than their decision to draft him in the first place. This isn't an overreaction to an isolated incident; Young has been trouble since the moment he arrived in Detroit, and he never seemed terribly interested in changing his ways.

Though most of the troubled young receiver's most notable issues happened over the last seven months, Young set a bad tone for his behavior with a blatant post-play personal foul against the Saints in 2011, then followed it up with another one on opening day 2012. Both crippled potential scoring drives for the Lions.

The Lions kept his first major off-field issue (the sucker punch on Louis Delmas) as internal as the media would allow. They put up with what was apparently deteriorating behavior, which drove former receivers coach Shawn Jefferson to this.

Even after Young drove his own coaches over the edge by sabotaging the game plan in a close game, the Lions gave him another chance to cool his head and earn his keep.

That lasted about a week, but the Lions weren't ready to give up on Young's talent just yet, opting to place him on injured reserve in hopes that an extra offseason would give him time to mature.

Young needed roughly six weeks to show just how much he'd matured, as he continued to complain about his role on Twitter, then literally dared Lions management to cut him:

At this point, what choice did the Lions have? It took Young all of four months to go from tantrum-prone to disgruntled to rebellious to running a full-on mutiny. Young backed them into a corner, to the point where the only option they had was following through on those purported "threats."

Trade him, you say? To who? Not even the Raiders and Jets are going to take a wide receiver with under 1,000 career yards who spent the last two months lampooning the team that drafted him.

Young has flushed his stock so far down the toilet, this may be the last we see of him in an NFL jersey.

There's no doubting that Young has raw talent, but even the most notoriously "me first" wide receivers wait to establish themselves as effective football players before they go off the deep end.

Terrell Owens at least broke the single-game receptions record before trying to push his quarterback out of a closet he wasn't in.

Young has had a couple of decent games, all of which pale in comparison to an average Calvin Johnson afternoon. He has roughly half as many yards in his two professional seasons (990) as Johnson had in 2012 alone (1,964).

Young hasn't broken any records. He's barely broken a sweat during practices. No team is going to take a chance on unproven potential when it comes with undeniably proven destructive attitude problems.

Let's put this another way. When Young lined up wrong late in the fourth quarter of a one-point game against a division rival, he sent a clear message to the Lions' (and every other) franchise: "My stat line and I am more important than wins and losses."

Now, for those who think Young might be a good pickup for your team, consider this question, as your team's personnel evaluators will.

Which is more important to your team: Titus Young or winning football games?

You say winning. Young disagrees.

If he can't have his diva ways accommodated with as many passes as he likes, he doesn't want to play, and who cares about winning? In a since-deleted tweet, Young threatened to walk away from the game altogether if he didn't "get the ball."

Oh boy, can you hear the suitors lining up to sign him? I'll bet the CFL and UFL are thrilled.

The best Young can hope for at this point is a savvy agent who puts him in some sort of anger management therapy or something to at least give the appearance that he gives a crap about anything outside his own little world.

Until he makes some serious changes to the way he conducts himself, nobody is going to touch Young with a 10-day tryout, and he's going to go down in Lions history alongside such illustrious names as Charles Rogers and Mike Williams. Or, in his own words, he'll remain:

And nobody is going to come running with a bandage.

UPDATE: I stand corrected. The St. Louis Rams, according to and multiple other sources, have decided to roll the dice on Titus Young.

He will join his former Boise St. teammate Austin Pettis, and might actually be the most physically talented wideout on that team, like he reportedly thought he was in Detroit. Maybe that will help keep his attitude in check, but I wouldn't count on it.


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