Does Vince Young Deserve Another Chance To Play In The NFL?
By all accounts, Vince Young still knows how to play the game of football. At 29, he may not be filled with all the potential that he was back when he was picked third overall in the 2006 NFL Draft. He also may not be as quick or dynamic as he was when he played back in college for the University of Texas. But, VY still knows how to play and could help an NFL team out. So, why isn’t he currently on an NFL roster? And, more importantly, why is he being forced to attend a pro day at Texas this month in order to try and get a new deal after sitting out the 2012-13 NFL season?
The truth is that, while he still knows how to play the game of football, Young has turned into a more of a liability than a long-term solution at quarterback for NFL teams. His off the field issues, including a slew of financial problems, have affected him both as a player and as a person and made it nearly impossible for him to play at a high level. Prior to last season, the Buffalo Bills gave Young a good hard look, but they ultimately couldn’t look past the fact that Young would probably be a distraction for the team if he was on their roster. And, they were right. Young endured a ton of media criticism last fall after a company that had loaned him some money during the 2011 NFL lockout filed a lawsuit against him. It would have put him in the crosshairs of the media during every Bills press conference and would have been a huge distraction for the team.
But, does that means that VY doesn’t deserve another chance to play in the NFL? If he can play, shouldn’t he get one more look? Yes, and he’s going to get it this spring. And, he needs to make the most of it. Not only does he need to perform on the field, but he also needs to show NFL teams that he’s matured off of it. He took one huge step towards doing that yesterday when he sat down with the NFL Network and revealed that he had sent his former Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher an apology letter recently and asked Fisher to forgive him for the immature behavior he’d demonstrated back when he was with the Titans.
“At the time, being immature and not paying attention and not listening and taking my frustrations out on a lot of people wasn’t the right thing to do,” Young said. “Just knowing that, hopefully he can read my letter and forgive me for that.”
But, that’s only the first step of many that Young needs to take. If he’s serious about getting back into the league, he needs to humble himself, do whatever NFL teams ask him to do, prove that he can be an asset to a team, and continue to be transparent in talking about the mistakes he’s made in the past. If he can do those things, we should see Vince Young back in the NFL later this year. But, it’s all up to him to go out there and make it happen.