It’s been almost three years since the last time Vince Young played in an NFL game. However, it’s taken him this long to realize that his dream of starring as a quarterback for years is over, announcing his official retirement from the league and taking a job with his alma mater, the University of Texas.
Since playing for the Eagles in 2011, starting in three games and overall participating in six while covering for the injured Michael Vick, Young has mostly been on and off teams, getting cut or simply not used before moving on. He signed a deal with the Buffalo Bills on May 2012 but was released a few weeks before the start of the season. The same thing happened to him last year with the Green Bay Packers, adding him on August 6 and releasing him 25 days later just before the season started.
He tried getting back to the NFL this season as well. He participated in a three-day minicamp with the Cleveland Browns in late April, signing with them on May 1. But the Browns signed Tyler Thigpen on the same day, and after drafting Johnny Manziel released Young, who probably had enough of fighting to try and maybe get himself on a team roster without any guarantee of not being released a few months or even weeks later.
Young was the number 3 overall draft pick in the 2006 draft, months after leading the Texas Longhorns to a BCS national championship by beating USC 41-38, with Young producing a run that ended up being the game winning touchdown and is now one of the most iconic moments in College Football history. He finished his career in Austin with a 30-2 record as a starter and plenty of milestones attributed to his name. The future looked bright.
Young had a great start to his NFL career. His rookie season was highlighted by some impressive game winning drives and fourth quarter comebacks. His numbers weren’t exactly outstanding, but he kept pulling his team to victory and even into the playoffs after the 2007 season. He complied a 17-11 record as a starter to kick off his career, but was injured on the first game of the 2008 season, missing most of the season and losing his starting job.
Things were never the same for Young. His injury issue seemed to be behind him, but his behavior kept him less than popular, despite the impressive 2009 season which led him to his second Pro Bowl and being named comeback player of the year. By 2011 he was playing as a backup for the Philadelphia Eagles, and after that experience never managed to hang on to an NFL job again.
He finishes his career with 46 touchdowns and 51 interceptions thrown, 30 of them coming in his first two seasons. He had a knack of being clutch and making the right decisions in the fourth quarter, but it seems like his personality and personal problems, which included wasting all the money he earned from his rookie contract, got in the way of having a much more successful NFL career.
Despite training hard in San Diego, Young never found a way back into the league. After three years of being disappointed by not receiving enough faith from teams that picked him up, I guess reality took place of his dream to get back into the league. At 31, it was time to stop deluding himself that there might be a job waiting for him out there.
I had my ups and downs. I made the mistake of getting in to it with my coach, and that kind of hurt me a whole lot. When you go to different teams, they already have a bad perception of you. When that’s out there, there’s nothing you can do. I’m retired. Unless we get a great opportunity, something guaranteed. I’ve already started moving forward. It’s definitely official, I think, in my book.