Detroit Lions wide receiver Titus Young is not enjoying life in exile, emerging from a few weeks off Twitter to go on a bit of a social-media rant.
"Like I said I never been selfish but if I'm not going to get the football i don't want to play anymore" Young wrote in a tweet that Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports has since been deleted.
As one might imagine, a tweet like that from a young player who was sent home by the Lions three times in 2012 for offenses ranging from sucker-punching a teammate (Louis Delmas) during the OTAs to showing up late for meetings before shelved for good after purposely lining up in the wrong spot in a November loss to the Green Bay Packers, was not well received by Lions fans.
Head coach Jim Schwartz commented on the situation from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.
"Every offensive player wants the football, and there's good ways to go about getting that and there's not-so-good ways about trying to get that done," Schwartz said. "This is a pretty good example of a not-so-good idea.
"This is sort of the world we live in with social media and stuff like that. Guys are responsible for what they post, for what they say. You wear your uniform 24 hours a day now."
In the wake of Schwartz's comments, Young again took to Twitter to express his frustration.
"Oh I'm not done, if y'all going to cut me let me go. I'm tired of the threats"
For a team that had five players account for seven arrests in 2012, Young has developed into the franchise's biggest distraction and the team probably should release the 2011 second-round pick out of Boise State at their first opportunity to do so, which will not be until after Super Bowl XLVII. However, the Lions may have the best receiver in the game in Calvin Johnson, but there are significant question marks behind No. 81 on the depth chart, enough so that Schwartz and GM Martin Mayhew may exhaust all options to try and make it work with Young, who has the talent to be a very productive No. 2 receiver opposite Johnson.
Current No. 2 receiver Nate Burleson, who would be relegated to No. 3 or even No. 4 on the depth chart if Young were even an average teammate, is due $4.5 million in base salary this season and his release would save the team considerable cash ($4.5 million) and cap space ($2.468 million), which puts his future with the cap-strapped franchise in doubt. 2012 second-round pick Ryan Broyles is best working out of the slot and is currently rehabbing from a torn right ACL after his college career was ended in 2011 by a torn ACL in his left knee that also delayed the start of his NFL career.
Including Johnson, Burleson, Broyles and Young, who has 81 receptions for 990 yards and 10 touchdowns in his 26-game career, the Lions have 14 wide receivers under contract for the 2013 season as seven of the 14 players the Lions signed to "Reserve/Future" contracts after the 2012 season play wide receiver. Among that list of "futures" signings is Devin Thomas, a 2008 second-round pick out of Michigan State who caught 43 passes in 55 games with the Washington Redskins and New York Giants before he abruptly retired last August while competing for a spot on the Chicago Bears' roster.
If the Lions do release Young, they'll likely have to burn another early draft pick on a receiver or hope that Kris Durham, Mike Thomas or Brian Robiskie step up and claim the No. 2 job.
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