Titans will part ways with Vince Young
NASHVILLE, Tenn. • Vince Young's days with the Tennessee Titansare over. the Titans plan to release the quarterback if they can'ttrade him.
The decision, announced Wednesday, ends hissometimes-controversial run with the franchise after five seasons.although that means coach Jeff Fisher won his battle because Titansowner Bud Adams was persuaded to jettison a player he personallyliked, it is not know whether Fisher will remain on the sidelinesfor 2011 — the final year of his contract.
"As you are aware, we have been engaged in a series of internaldiscussions over the last month about the future of our footballteam," Adams said in a statement. "We have two critical decisionsto make — the direction of the coaching staff and the future at thequarterback position. They are separate issues to me and will bedealt with separately.
"Today, I informed our general manager, Mike Reinfeldt, to moveforward with plans to begin the process of identifying the nextquarterback for our franchise. … these kinds of decisions arenever easy and this is especially true for this particular player.I certainly wish that things would have worked out better, but Ithink it is best for the franchise that we move on at thispoint."
He also addressed Fisher's situation.
"I also informed Jeff today that I was continuing the evaluationof the coaching staff and I am hoping to make a decision soon,"Adams' statement said.
Young, the third overall pick in the 2006 draft, posted a 30-18record with the Titans as a starter, including one playoff game.but injuries and controversies plagued the career of the playerAdams handpicked after Young guided the University of Texas to anational championship in stunning fashion.
Titans Executive Vice President Steve Underwood and Reinfeldtmet Monday with Adams in Houston, where he lives, and advised the88-year-old owner they sided with Fisher.
Fisher had made it clear he no longer could work with Young inthe wake of a locker-room confrontation on Nov. 21, when Youngcussed out Fisher in front of the team after a loss to theRedskins. the Titans placed Young on season-ending injured reservethe following week because of a finger problem that requiredsurgery. and Young did not attend a team meeting Monday, a dayafter the Titans finished the season with a 6-10 record.
Young said Wednesday that he was a little bitter but thankedAdams and Fisher for giving him a chance to win the Super Bowl. Healso said he had nothing against Fisher, though he never felt thecoach trusted him or that he was his guy.
"Everything was my fault," Young said. "But that's over now. Iwish coach Fisher and Bud Adams and all my coaches and teammates(the) best."
Young was scheduled to make $8.5 million in base salary in 2011,with an additional roster bonus of $4.25 million. the Titans won'tbe responsible for those sums now.
The move immediately raises questions about who will quarterbackthe Titans in 2011.
Kerry Collins finished his 16th NFL season as the starter, andhis contract is up. Chris Simms also has an expiring contract,while rookie Rusty Smith has just one NFL start.
Young came to the team as the successor to Steve McNair. Hestarted off strong, being selected the Associated Press NFLoffensive rookie of the year in 2006, and he helped the Titans go10-6 with a playoff spot in 2007.
But he had an injury in the 2008 opener and Fisher wound upcalling police when Young's mother worried about him speeding off aday later from his home in his Mercedes.
Collins remained the starter as the Titans opened 10-0 andearned the AFC's No. 1 seed that season. but Young came off thebench under Adams' orders after the Titans started 0-6 in 2009 andhelped them win eight of their final 10 games.
He started eight of nine games in 2010 but couldn't finish threegames because of injuries. he threw for 10 touchdowns with onlythree interceptions and a career-best 98.6 passer rating as he was93 of 156 for 1,255 yards.
But after his run-in with Fisher and being put on injuredreserve, Young was seen in the team's locker room only once.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report).