Titans owner Bud Adams says it's time to let Vince Young go and for the franchise to find its next quarterback.
The Titans released a statement Wednesday night in which Adams said Young won’t be on the team’s roster next season, but he’s still evaluating the coaching staff.
“We have two critical decisions to make, the direction of the coaching staff and the future at the quarterback position. They are separate issues to me and will be dealt with separately,” Adams said.
Adams is the owner who wanted Young drafted No. 3 overall out of Texas in 2006 and said on draft day that “VY is my guy.” But with his general manager and senior executive vice president traveling to Houston to meet with Adams on Monday, the 88-year-old owner decided Young no longer is the quarterback for his franchise.
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Young is 30-17 in his five NFL seasons, but only 13-14 against teams finishing a season at .500 or better. He’s also battled questions over his work ethic, leadership and injuries. He suffered a season-ending thumb injury on his right hand Nov. 21, tossed his shoulder pads into the stands and told off coach Jeff Fisher in front of the locker room before storming out.
Young, 27, told The (Memphis) Tennessean newspaper that he was a little bitter but thanked Adams and Fisher. He also said he had nothing against Fisher, although he never felt like the coach trusted him or that he was his guy.
“Everything was my fault. But that’s over now. I wish coach Fisher and Bud Adams and all my coaches and teammates the best,” Young said.
The quarterback is due a roster bonus of $4.25 million in March and an $8.5 million salary for 2011.
“These kinds of decisions are never easy and this is especially true for this particular player. I certainly wish that things would have worked out better, but I think it is best for the franchise that we move on at this point,” Adams said.
League rules keep Young from being released until Feb. 7, and he cannot be traded until the first day of the league year – an uncertain date because of the labor unrest. Young was told he is welcome to rehab his thumb injury at the team facility.
Adams also said in his statement that he informed Fisher he still is evaluating the coaching staff.
Fisher is the NFL’s longest-tenured coach with his current team (16 seasons). Tennessee started this season 5-2 and atop the AFC South before losing eight of the final nine games to finish 6-10.
Fisher is under contract for 2011 at a tab of $6.5 million and the Titans will pick eighth overall in the draft.
HARBAUGH TO 49ERS?
Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, who led the Cardinal to a program-best 12-1 record and an Orange Bowl title, met with the San Francisco 49ers about their head coaching vacancy, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, who led the Denver Broncos to five Super Bowls and back-to-back championships before retiring in 1999, has been hired asz Denver’s chief football executive. The New York Jets are appealing the $100,000 fine issued by the NFL last week for violating league rules when assistant coach Sal Alosi ordered players to form a sideline wall, then tripped Miami’s Nolan Carroll during a punt return last month. Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who led all NFL rookies with 10 sacks, is scheduled to have shoulder surgery Monday and will not play in the Pro Bowl. Recently fired Dallas Cowboys coach Wade Phillips was hired as Houston’s new defensive coordinator, assigned to revamp a unit that ranked 30th in yards allowed (386.6 per game) and last against the pass (267.5 yards per game). New England’s Wes Welker and Matt Light have been selected to the Pro Bowl, replacing injured Andre Johnson of Houston and Jake Long of Miami. Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, who led the nation with 151/2 sacks, is giving up his final season to enter the NFL draft. A special master in New York is hearing complaints from the players union that the NFL improperly re-negotiated network TV contracts.