Updates from Thursday, May 1
The #Browns are expected to sign QB Vince Young to a one-year deal after his tryout, source says. Very cool comeback story— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 1, 2014
Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports talked to Young's agent about Cleveland:
Vince Young's agent confirms he's signing with the Browns today.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) May 1, 2014
The Browns have made a move on another quarterback as well (via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com):
Updates from Wednesday, April 30
George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal provides a statement from Vince Young discussing his desire to play football:
The fire is lit always. One thing a lot of people don’t know, I love this game so much. ...
... I don’t really want to talk about the past. I’m just happy to have the opportunity playing for a historic team, a respectful team.
Thomas also provided a statement from Browns coach Mike Pettine discussing Young:
Vince is somebody that I’ve always had a lot of respect for, being on the other sideline at times, and when he walks in the building, he’s got a presence. You forget how tall he is and then he walks past you in the hallway.
Free-agent quarterback Vince Young has not appeared in a regular-season NFL game since 2011, but he's attempting to work his way back onto the gridiron after what looked to be the end to an enigmatic career.
MyFoxHouston.com's Mark Berman was first to report Young will take a physical on Monday and work out during the Cleveland Browns' mini camp in a bid to sign with the team:
NFL sources: The Cleveland Browns will take a look at free agent quarterback Vince Young.— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) April 28, 2014
Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal later followed with a synopsis from Browns general manager Ray Farmer discussing Young:
#Browns GM Ray Farmer said Vince Young report is 100 percent true.— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) April 28, 2014
Young had mentioned receiving interest from several NFL teams this last Wednesday, per a report by Berman, which noted that Young had signed with agent Brian Overstreet:
I've been getting some calls, some interest. That's the good part about it. You never know what's going to happen with that. I have my agent out there working. I've been training since January out in San Diego and back now in Texas. Just staying ready, might get a call. All I can do is my part and stay ready.
The Tennessee Titans selected Young No. 3 overall in the 2006 draft after he'd won a national championship at the University of Texas. Despite an awkward, sidearm delivery and a lack of overall polish as a passer, his upside as an athlete and playmaker was undeniable.
That led to Young playing mostly on instincts and talent during his tenure in Tennessee, yet it was good enough to lead the Titans to the playoffs in his second season. He was also named to the Pro Bowl as a rookie and in 2009.
But a rough stint with the Philadelphia Eagles that ended after just one year in 2011 was the last time Young stuck on an NFL roster. He recently discussed the possibility of working at the University of Texas in some capacity if more football wasn't on the horizon.
"If football doesn’t work out for me, the university has a great job for me," said Young, per Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle. "Just letting you know what (UT) has going on, especially helping kids get scholarships and recognizing things like that [...] Whatever it is, I just want to support the university."
CBS Sports Radio's Pete Mundo provided his analysis on that possibility:
So Univ of Texas about to hire Vince Young as an ambassador? I guess Ricky Williams and Cedric Benson were unavailable?? #HookEm— Pete Mundo (@PeteMundo) April 24, 2014
How would Vince Young fit with the Cleveland Browns?
"I am pleased with the quick resolution of my bankruptcy case," Young said, per ESPN.com news services. "With all these battles behind me, I am able to devote my sole focus on family, football and pursuing all opportunities in front of me."
Despite his modest success under center in the past, there was never a true opportunity for Young to prove himself as a long-term starter. That chance has probably passed, but there's at least some sense to make of the Browns' interest in Young.
As Berman pointed out, Overstreet is based in Houston, where new Cleveland offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan used to call the plays for the Texans. Shanahan worked with a superb athlete in quarterback Robert Griffin III in the previous two years at Washington, so there's reason to believe he could get the most out of Young, who turns 31 this next month.
The dots connect rather well, but it is difficult to project Young's role being all that significant.
The Browns already have Brian Hoyer on the roster and figure to be in the market for a quarterback in the upcoming NFL draft, especially with two-first round picks at Nos. 4 and 26 to work with. First-year general manager Ray Farmer hasn't been shy in free agency, though, and this reported pursuit of Young is another interesting move in what has been a busy offseason in Cleveland.
With the quarterback issues the Browns have had since reentering the league in 1999, it's hard to blame Farmer and the front office for exploring any and all possibilities. Given Young's natural talent and his potential fit into Shanahan's versatile schemes, this is a low-risk courtship for Cleveland to entertain.