Lions receiver Titus Young repeatedly caused trouble last season, doing everything from punching a teammate to purposely lining up in the wrong spot during a game, and he was ultimately sent home and told not to come back to the team facility. But the Lions haven’t yet decided if he’ll be welcome back in 2013.
Young was back at team headquarters for his exit physical on Wednesday, and G.M. Martin Mayhew said they talked. But Mayhew said he doesn’t know if Young will still be on the team when minicamps open in a few months.
“I think it’s hard to say right now,” Mayhew told the team’s website. “There’s a lot of time between now and when he has to come back. I think there’s a lot that has to happen between now and then. We’ll decide that at the appropriate time, but we haven’t decided that at this point. I think it has to be the right situation for him and for us. We’ll have to decide if that’s what it is.”
Mayhew took Young in the second round of the 2011 draft and said he was impressed enough with Young’s rookie season that he might be willing to forgive Young’s antics in his second season.
“If it was just based off this year you might not consider bringing him back,” Mayhew said. “But if you go back to 2011 and you look at his ability to function in this offense, his ability to get along with his teammates, the production that he gave us as a receiver, he’s demonstrated the ability to be a very productive player in this league. I think he really had a lot to offer in 2011 and was one of the reasons why we were able to win 10 games. So he’s shown that he can be a productive teammate and that he can be a good teammate. He’s shown that and he’s also shown that he can be difficult to work with so we’ll figure it out.”
The Lions would love to have a reliable No. 2 receiver to put on the other side of the field from Calvin Johnson, but so far they haven’t found that: Young has been inconsistent on the field and a troublemaker off it, Nate Burleson is coming off a season-ending injury and looked like he had lost a step even before he got hurt, and Ryan Broyles, who showed promise as a rookie, has now suffered two ACL tears in the last 14 months. Mayhew has invested a lot in trying to find that reliable No. 2 receiver, and so far he hasn’t found one.