Les Snead and Jeff Fisher Hit the Jackpot After Claiming Titus Young off Waivers
Les Snead and Jeff Fisher have struck gold yet again, this time in the form of a disgruntled wide receiver.
Finding viable weapons for quarterback Sam Bradford has been objective No. 1 for general manager Snead. Since taking over in 2012, he has delivered a plethora of young talent across the board at various positions. Most notably in the defensive secondary and at the skill positions on the offensive side of the ball.
Fourth-round pick Chris Givens led the team in receiving, seventh-round pick Daryl Richardson had the longest run of the season for the Rams out of the backfield and two of Brian Quick's 11 receptions went for touchdowns.
Surely questions loom large as expectations are heightened in year two, but when was the last time St. Louis had high production numbers from its rookie draft class? My point exactly, as the Rams have been one of the worst drafting teams over the last decade.
However, the talent search doesn't only run through the draft. Snead and head coach Fisher are constantly scouring the waiver wire to find that next diamond in the rough. Even though not all waiver-wire players require extensive scouting, some just land in your lap with a note attached to them that reads "jackpot."
That's exactly the note wide receiver Titus Young had on him after being released by the Detroit Lions (via USA Today). Yes, Young is immature and he tends to make bonehead mistakes when it comes to fellow players and coaches. But that doesn't mean his talent won't reign supreme in the end.
The Rams' front office surely thinks his talent will outshine his inflated ego during the second stop of young career. And in all honesty, there probably wasn't a better landing spot for the former Boise State Bronco. It's a match made in heaven when looking at the marriage from both perspectives.
Young instantly upgrades one of the NFL's most talent-depleted wide receiver corps. Seemingly, Brandon Gibson, Danny Amendola, Steve Smith, Chris Givens, Austin Pettis and Brian Quick don't scare off too many defensive backs.
Not to mention St. Louis is in a bit of wide receiver limbo with its impending free agents. Gibson, Amendola and Smith could all hit the open market when free agency begins March 12th. Of the three, it's likely that No. 16 is the only one who will be back at the right price.
Which means Young will have a golden opportunity to capitalize on a group of wide receivers that lacks depth and experience. The 2013 season marks his third season as a pro, and he comes over from Detroit on the cheap.
According to the Detroit News, this season calls for a $740,000 pay day. That number includes his $555,000 base salary and $185,000 roster bonus. An absolute steal if you ask me, considering Young has posted 10 career touchdowns since the beginning of his rookie season.
Let me ask you this: How many Rams wide receivers have scored 10 touchdowns from 2011-2012? If you guessed zero, you're exactly right. Despite throwing for 3,702 yards in 2012, this team still lacks playmakers in a big way.
Moreover, Young is headed to a locker room that has its fair share of guys who don't exactly have the squeakiest of clean records. Coming out in 2012, Janoris Jenkins was viewed as arguably the draft's top cornerback.
But his string of collegiate arrests dropped him out of the first round. I'm sure Coach Fisher thought all the better in terms of his falling draft stock.
In Tennessee, Fisher handled players like Adam Jones and Vince Young. Jenkins is a saint compared to those two, so I'm sure he's saying to himself: "If I can control Jenkins and other players who have had run ins with the law, what's one more?"
The situation is the ultimate low-risk, high-reward situation. If Young comes in and acts like a jackass as he did in Detroit, the Rams aren't out anything by cutting him. It's likely they would owe him his roster bonus, but that's it.
It's unlikely he pulls a tantrum the second time around. Seemingly, every player gets a second chance in the NFL and most of them make sure they maximize their skill set as they are playing for keeps.
Young may not be better than Calvin Johnson, but he's better than 99 percent of the options the Rams have at receiver right now.
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