The decision has been made on Vince Young's future with the Tennessee Titans. There is none. I'm not here to decide who's wrong and who's right, I'm here to list possible destinations where Vince Young could end up. The way I see it, using my wildest imagination, at most there are 7 AFC teams and 8 NFC teams that could conceivably make a play for him. Young could come into next year as a definite starter to a backup or anywhere in between.
Let's take a look (in no specific order) at possible landing spots for the enigmatic Young. NFL writer Hank Koebler was kind enough to ad his comments. We have a poll at the conclusion of the commentary trying to find out where you think VY will be unpacking his bags.
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- Listen to Jayson Braddock's thoughts where Vince Young will end up from the Dylan Gwinn show on Sports Radio 790 AM in Houston, TX
Carolina Panthers - Andrew Luck has decided to stay in school. The Panthers should go defense with the number 1 pick in the draft. They still need a quarterback and their will be a ton of weapons at VY's disposal in Carolina. They're a run first offense and are interviewing defensive minded head coaches. If Rob Ryan or Ron Rivera comes into Carolina they'll want to get the defense up to snuff and could possibly want a veteran like VY to manage the offense. With a run first approach and upcoming targets in David Gettis and Brandon Lafell, this could be a nice fit for all.
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Hank's take: The Panthers should be intrigued by the opportunity to get a talented veteran quarterback. However, Carolina will likely just draft a rookie quarterback, because fans will be more patient with a rookie than a veteran if the quarterback fails to produce. Additionally, Young may not want to play in Carolina - he spent two years bringing what should have been a "rebuilding" team in Tennessee to competitiveness, and was benched the following year when the team was finally good. That may have left a bad taste in his mouth, which would make him averse to playing in Carolina. While it's an intriguing possibility, I don't see Young going to Carolina. I wouldn't rule it out completely, but it doesn't make as much sense as some of the other teams on this list.
Seattle Seahawks - Pete Carroll remembers what VY is capable of doing when he has the coach and team's support. Granted it was in college but VY has resurrected his former USC Trojan, Mike Williams, career and could hope to do the same to his former rival, VY. Seattle also has a poor offensive line and needs a mobile QB to make things happen out of the pocket.
Hank's take: This could be a very good fit. Carroll is described as a "players' coach," the type that is perfect for a college team. Young, albeit talented, still has the college players' mentality, so Carroll would mesh with him. Also, Young is the rare type of player who could actually execute a college-style offense in the NFL, because of his running and throwing ability. Plus, Seattle's offensive line will be better next year once everybody is healthy again. Young should think long and hard about signing with Seattle if they're interested.
Arizona Cardinals - Coach Whisenhunt could be looking to bring in a veteran like VY to see if he can take the reins of this offense. If Vince can't get the job done, he'll have to young QBs in Max Hall and John Skelton that'll be progressing in the wings hoping for their shot again. If there is any chance that Larry Fitzgerald comes back to Arizona, it'll be the first dynamic receiver that VY has ever played with.
Hank's take: Arizona was terrible at quarterback because their top 2006 draft pick didn't work out for personality reasons, and now they're going to sign someone else's top 2006 draft pick that didn't work out for personality reasons? I don't see it. Arizona's run game and offensive line is subpar, so even though the chance to throw to Larry Fitzgerald is tempting, Young should turn it down. If he's going to join the NFC West, he might as well go to a better team such as the Seahawks or 49ers.
San Francisco 49ers - Once again here is another team that doesn't have their head coach in place. If they hire someone who likes VY's intangibles, this would be a great fit. He loves getting the ball to his tight ends and backs and in San Fran he would have one of the games most underrated tight ends, in Vernon Davis. Frank Gore could also bail VY out of some sticky situations. Michael Crabtree has been waiting for a QB that can get him the ball and this team could mesh together well.
Hank's take: this destination makes the most sense to me. A great run game, an elite tight end, and a talented receiving corps that includes explosive playmaker Michael Crabtree. The 49ers' defense isn't bad either, so there'll be less pressure on Young and the offense to win games. Additionally, he'd be playing in an absolutely terrible division, so his presence should make the 49ers automatic playoff contenders every year.
Detroit Lions - Some of you might be wondering why would I have VY going to Detroit. Matt Stafford would be the #1 option but he's injury prone. If there aren't a lot of teams making a play for VY, then the Lions might be able to talk him into coming to Detroit to be insurance for Stafford. I know that Schwartz has Shaun Hill and Drew Stanton but he's worked on the same team as VY and might want his winning record to lead his team instead of backups if Stafford goes down in 2011.
Hank's take: An interesting idea, because Young would make this team deadly, but Stafford is the franchise quarterback. While a talented backup would be nice for Detroit to have, there's no way Young will want to be a backup when he could be a starter elsewhere.
Minnesota Vikings - This might be the best fit for Young. It would be by far the best receiving corps that he has ever played with. He would have the 6'4 Sidney Rice and the elusive Percy Harvin. In Tennessee, VY had more of his passes dropped than any other QB that I can remember. He'll also have the luxury of having Adrian Peterson to hand the ball off to.
Hank's take: This would be a really good fit. One thing to consider is that Young is from Houston, went to college in Texas, and then played five years in Tennessee. He isn't exactly used to cold weather, and whenever the Titans would play in a cold environment you could see Young on the sidelines in a large parka, clearly bothered by the cold. For that reason, weather is something to consider here. Also, the wild card in this equation is Joe Webb. If coach Leslie Frazier deems Webb ready to be the starter, then there's no way Young will come here to be a backup to a second-year quarterback. If Frazier decides to let Webb sit and develop for a year or two, Young would be a perfect fit here, because his skill set is so similar to Webb's.
Dallas Cowboys - The Texas native that grew up in Houston and played college ball in Austin would have a lot of fan support going to Dallas. If you haven't realized by now, I think that Tony Romo is one of the most overrated QBs in the NFL. Jon Kitna is older than dirt and Stephen McGee is still unproven. Jason Garrett was a quarterback and could possibly feel that he could mold VY's game. If it doesn't work out, he'll have Romo or McGee to fall back on. VY would love to throw to Miles Austin, (fellow Longhorn) Roy Williams, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Martellius Bennett.
Hank's take: I agree about Tony Romo, but I think Jason Garrett disagrees. He molded Tony Romo's game, and is likely to stick with Romo. Jerry Jones may like this idea, but he promised that he would give Garrett full roster control. As long as it's Garrett's decision, there's no way Romo is replaced by Young.
Washington Redskins - Mike Shanahan loved Vince Young coming out of Texas. It's obvious that Donovan McNabb won't be back next year and I don't really believe that he thinks Rex Grossman is the answer. He could possibly get a discount on VY due to all of the negative publicity. Kyle Shanahan and VY should be able to hit it off and co-exist. The Redskins have a lot of holes and don't want to use a top pick on a QB and have to develop him. They need to win now, so a veteran is the best way to go. This wouldn't be a great fit for VY though, to many problems.
Hank's take: Vince Young should avoid Washington at all costs. There are absolutely no offensive weapons aside from tight end Chris Cooley, and this offensive line can't protect Young. Also, if Mike Shanahan, an old friend of Jeff Fisher's, can't get along with Donovan McNabb, one of the most personable and professional quarterbacks of this past decade, there's no way Young will stand for Shanahan's antics.
Oakland Raiders - I don't know who's going to be calling the shots in Oakland as the head coach but it still appears that it doesn't matter. With the Tom Cable firing, Al Davis is obviously still in charge. He loves the players like VY. Vince is better than anyone they have right now and Davis could view him as a quick fix to an offense that was just missing a QB. It would give Davis the Holy Trinity of speed at receiver (Ford), running back (McFadden) and quarterback (Young). It would be the Al Davis dream team.
Hank's take: A pretty decent offensive line, an extra-speedy running back, and an extremely underrated receiving corps would make for a good supporting cast for Young. However, the Tom Cable firing shows that this team is extremely dysfunctional, so I'm not sure this would offer the stability that Young seems to desire. Intriguing, and not out of the question, but I don't see it as probable. Another aspect to be considered is that the Broncos, Chargers, and Chiefs all use 3-4 defenses, and Young has struggled against the 3-4 a lot more than he does against the 4-3.
Jacksonville Jaguars - Jack Del Rio was blessed by the football gods to remain head coach. He knows that he has to win this year. David Garrard is not the answer and he doesn't have the luxury of time to draft and develop a rookie QB. VY could step in immediately and run this offense. He knows the AFC South like the back of his hand and he'll love to make the Titans pay twice a year just like the Texans. Vince Young has never lost to the Texans and holds a grudge for them not drafting him. What do you think he'll do to the Titans and especially a Jeff Fisher led team.
Hank's take: David Garrard, when healthy, was better than he gets credit for being. He just looked bad because his supporting cast was so bad. While the revenge aspect might be tempting, Young may not want to play for a team that isn't very good.
Indianapolis Colts - Peyton Manning is the greatest mind that's playing football right now. He's on the down slope of his career and he's a great mentor. If the Colts can sell VY on sitting for a year or two, it'll be the greatest decision of his career. Think of what Steve Young did, sitting behind Montana. Aaron Rodgers behind Favre. It'll be a hard sell to convince VY but if he takes the carrot, he'll be a completely polished QB in 2012 or 13'. Also, the same goes as above, with him facing the Titans and Texans 4 times.
Hank's take: the Colts are such a successful team because they do everything possible to avoid distractions and controversy. Signing your division rival's former starting quarterback to be your backup will create distractions and, in a year or two when Young is tired of sitting on the bench, controversy.
Cincinnati Bengals - Carson Palmer is washed up and a shell of the QB that existed before the shot he took below the knee in the playoffs. VY could come in and compete for the starting job with Palmer. VY would already have friends and familiar faces in the locker room when he gets to Cincy. On offense he would have Jordan Shipley, Quan Cosby, and Cedric Benson. It would be a smooth transition for him to go somewhere, where he didn't feel a hostile locker room.
Hank's take: This would be a great fit, but Marvin Lewis seems as if he wants to live or die by Carson Palmer. It would be a great fit for Young, but Cincinnati seems to be highly overvaluing Palmer. If they come to their senses and choose Young over Palmer, it would work out very well.
Buffalo Bills - Young would fit in great with the type of offense the Bills run. They like to throw the ball up and take shots down field. Ryan Fitzpatrick put up big numbers but isn't the solution in Buffalo. They need a QB that can make plays happen until they find an offensive line that can stop anybody. Chris Johnson rushed for 50+ more yards a game with VY at QB than any other QB. CJ Spiller is that same type of back. So, putting VY in the backfield with Spiller and Fred Jackson gets the Bills the value back for Spiller.
Hank's take: Again, this team seems dedicated to their incumbent quarterback, but anything can happen. Young would be a great fit here, but facing three 3-4 defenses a year may not play to Young's strengths. If Young is willing to deal with freezing weather and put in the work to improve against the 3-4, this could work out extremely well.
Miami Dolphins - Brandon Marshall has been throwing Chad Henne under the bus the whole last month of the season. Marshall loved the strong arm Cutler that was prone to making mistakes. I feel that Marshall and Young's personalities would mesh beautifully. VY would be the new version of Cutler that Marshall needs and misses. Dolphins have a young defense to build around and an offense that just needs to figure out what they're doing in the backfield. If they commit to the run and just let VY throw it up to Marshall, this would be a highlight reel waiting to happen. If it blows up, it's going to be bad!
Hank's take: Young-to-Marshall would be great, and his mobility is the perfect fit for the Wildcat-style formations the Dolphins like to run. This would be an excellent fit for Young. If coach Tony Sparano stays, Young might decide to take his talents to South Beach.
New York Jets - Mark Sanchez has to have everything go right to be a good QB. VY would work beautifully in this offense and Rex Ryan wouldn't go whining to the media every time something happened. They would take care of it in house and it would be the end of it. This team just needs a QB that can move the ball if asked to and sustain drives. That's Young's strengths. The defense will win games but if Ryan needs a QB to get a score, Sanchez can't do it. The biggest negative to VY going to the Jets is how would do in the biggest media market and the scrutiny the media would put on him.
Hank's take: Absolutely not happening. The media scrutiny will not work out, and the Jets are completely committed to Sanchez. While Young would perform well on the field due to his supporting cast, he's not going to want to join this team, and the team's not going to want him. It's just not a good fit at all.
Where do you think VY will go? Respond in the poll below....
Jayson Braddock appears on Sports Radio 790 AM in Houston, TX, every Thursday morning at 11:19 am CST as the football insider on the Dylan Gwinn show. He's a graduate of the Sports Management World Wide Football GM & Scouting Course and has been mentored by former NFL player / executive John Wooten and Sporting News.com NFL Draft Expert Russ Lande. His work is mostly appreciated by die-hard fans interested in every little detail about their team and not just watered down mainstream talk. - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports7910.com.
Hank Koebler, IV is a sports journalist attending the University of Missouri's school of journalism.
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