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Does Titus Young Deserve Another NFL Shot?

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
Gary DavenportNFL AnalystFebruary 4, 2013

If wide receiver Titus Young was half as good at catching passes as he is at jamming his foot into his mouth and angering coaches, then Calvin Johnson would be the second-most talented wide receiver for the Detroit Lions.

That, and Young would still have a job.

As ESPN's Kevin Seifert reports, the Lions have severed ties with the second-year pro, releasing him on Monday after a tumultuous 2012 campaign in which Young was twice sent home by the team.

The first time was for getting into a training camp dust-up with safety Louis Delmas. That's unfortunate, but Young and Delmas aren't the first teammates to come to blows in camp, nor will they be the last.

Young's second suspension from the team was much more alarming, and things deteriorated quickly from there, as Anwar Richardson of MLive.com reported at the time.

Young was a disruptive force in Detroit's recent loss against the Green Bay Packers, intentionally lining up in the wrong position because he wanted the ball, and was sent home for his disruptive actions after that game. He was allowed to practice with the team last week.

However, Young's behavior did not change, and not only was he banned from the sidelines of Detroit's recent loss against the Indianapolis Colts, he may no longer be a part of the team.

"Titus will not part of our wide receiver mix (this Sunday)," Schwartz said. "He's not with the team right now. If I have any further updates, I'll let you guys know ... He's not going to practice. He's not with the team right now."

At this point most players would begin backpedaling as fast as they can and start making apologies in an effort to rehabilitate their image and get back on the field.

However, most players are not Titus Young.

After Young was placed on season-ending injured reserve in December, he took to Twitter, and by the time Young's scorched-earth campaign was finished, any chances he had of remaining with the team were effectively gone.

With head coach Jim Schwartz in Alabama at the Senior Bowl last month, Young took the opportunity to tweet that he was prepared to quit football if he didn't get the ball more, according to ESPN.

In a since-deleted tweet from [January], Young also said he would retire if he didn't have more passes thrown his way. The 2011 second-round pick had 33 catches this past season and 81 in 26 career games.

"Like I said I never been selfish but if I'm not going to get the football i don't want to play anymore," Young wrote.

Yes, that's right, Titus Young literally threatened to take his ball and go home.

That tweet was deleted, but in what has become a theme with Young, he apparently learned absolutely nothing from the affair.

The 23-year-old was right back at it on January 25.

The Lions have obviously had enough and simply granted Young's request.

Schwartz and the Lions really had no choice. Player discipline is already something of a hot-button topic in the Motor City, and the last thing Schwartz needs as he tries to bounce back from a disastrous 4-12 season is an immature malcontent constantly thumbing his nose at the coaches.

The choice now falls to the NFL's other's 31 teams.

Do they take a chance that all Titus Young needs is a change of scenery?

Not if they have any sense...at all.

Sure, Young has shown glimpses of the talent that made him the Lions' second-round pick in 2011, averaging more than 11 yards a catch and reeling in 10 touchdown receptions in 26 career games.

However, Young hasn't displayed the sort of otherworldly talent that would make worth the headaches that will all but certainly follow him to a new team.

This is a player who hasn't shown one iota of remorse about anything he's done. The concept of a "team" is completely foreign to him. It's all about Titus Young.

If he doesn't get what he wants, he pouts like a six-year-old, and there's been zero indication any of that would change if the mailing address on his paycheck did.

Don't get me wrong. The odds are good that some NFL team will sign Young, convinced that they can "get through to him" and reap the rewards of his not-inconsiderable physical gifts.

With that said, you'd be best served hoping like mad that your favorite NFL team won't be the fools that take that gamble.

Because those dice are coming up snake eyes.

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