OK, Vince Young, it looks like you need to be re-acquainted with the reality of your status with the Tennessee Titans.
Based on comments attributed to you that appeared online earlier this week, you apparently still want them.
Based on everything that every key Titans decision-maker has said publicly since the end of the season, they still don't want you.
I understand there's tremendous uncertainty for you and all other NFL players these days. Until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, none of you can get a true handle on what's in store for the 2011 season. In your particular case, there is the matter of the $4.25 million your contract says you are owed 10 days after a new CBA is in place, which is anyone's guess. There also is your $8-million base salary for the coming season.
Rest assured, Vince, the Titans are not going to pay you that $4.25 million, which means they also have no intention of carrying you on the payroll at $8 million or any figure, for that matter.
Young must look forward, not back
Whenever that CBA gets finalized, you'll be officially out the door. The Titans' preference, of course, would be to trade you, but no other team is likely to want pick up the $12.25 million tab necessary to own your contract. So you will be waived. You will be an ex-Titan, even though you were quoted by Chaney Entertainment as saying, "I would love to stay in Nashville, I would love to stay in Tennessee."
It's a good thing you also told Chaney, "If it doesn't happen, wherever God blesses me to be at I'll give 100 percent." I suspect other NFL teams that have an interest in you -- and there no doubt will be some out there -- will like to hear that. I also suspect they're going to want to hear a whole lot more when, and if, you get the chance to visit with any of them.
We all know you're talented. We all know about your winning record (38-18) as an NFL starter and the fact you threw for 10 touchdowns, with only three interceptions, on the way to a career-best passer rating of 98.6 last year.
But the part about giving "100 percent" won't be accepted at face value. You hardly have demonstrated a willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to become more knowledgeable about the defenses you face, the offense you run and the many nuances that must be mastered in order to be a successful quarterback. Your reputation continues to be that of someone with something better to do than watch endless hours of videotape, and sit in meeting rooms with coaches and teammates searching for any possible edge to win -- the way the top quarterbacks do.
As impressive as 38-18 and those 2010 stats might be, there are other career numbers that paint a far less flattering portrait of your five seasons in Tennessee. Your 42 touchdown passes are quickly muted by your 42 interceptions. And your completion percentage of 57.9 -- along with the fact your two best seasons for completion percentage were in the low 60-percent range -- does nothing to detract from the notion that you aren't a very accurate passer.
Potential employers also aren't going to overlook the ugly end to your 2010 season, when, after suffering a thumb injury against the Washington Redskins, you unleashed an expletive-filled tirade at your coach, Jeff Fisher, and then stormed out of the locker room. You were everything that a quarterback and a leader (or pretty much any player, for that matter) can never be: Insubordinate, irrational, irresponsible. Your conduct earned you a suspension and effectively sealed your fate with the Titans.
The fact that Fisher left the team after the season doesn't change that. To the rest of the NFL, he has always been viewed as someone who gets along with players. Such a blowup, and other questionable behavior in your career, raises far more questions about you than it does about Fisher.
Even Titans owner Bud Adams, who had consistently been in your corner and at one time seemed willing to choose you over Fisher, no longer supports you. The same goes for general manager Mike Reinfeldt. Both are on record as saying that you will either be traded or released.
Reinfeldt is well into the process of trying to find your replacement. He and the rest of the Titans' player-personnel staff are studying the quarterbacks in this year's draft. They're checking out potential free agents, if there is ever a free-agent shopping period this offseason. They're also looking at trade possibilities, presuming that the trading of players will be allowed to happen at some point in the coming days, weeks, or months.
Yes, the labor situation has their hands tied, but not to the point where they'll ever concede they are stuck with you.
Mike Munchak, the Pro Football Hall of Fame member and former Titans offensive line coach who replaced Fisher, has moved on from you, too, even though you recently told Fox Sports: "I'm a big fan of Munchak. I always call him 'Big Hall of Famer' in the hallways and things like that. I have a lot of respect for him and he has a lot of respect for me, so it's great."
Here's the reality, Vince. Even with a new head coach and new offensive coordinator (Chris Palmer), the same offense in which you were such a bad fit -- the one that asks you to mostly hand the ball to Chris Johnson and doesn't want you doing a whole lot on those nimble feet of yours -- is staying put. The Titans intend to go forward with more of a pocket passer, such as Philadelphia's Kevin Kolb. They want a quarterback who excels at making proper reads and proper decisions, and doesn't constantly look to make things happen on the fly because he hasn't done enough work to make them happen according to plan.
The bottom line is this, Vince. You might still want the Titans, but they definitely don't want you.
Good luck wherever you end up.