For the Rams, Titus Young’s talent trumped the trouble he’s been known to cause. For the NFL’s other 31 teams, he wasn’t worth the headaches.
Mike Garafolo of USA Today first reported, and PFT has confirmed, that the Rams were the only team to put in a waiver claim for Young today.
When the Lions placed Young on waivers, every NFL team had the opportunity to put in a claim for him, and there’s really no cost associated with having him: If he causes problems or just doesn’t look like a good fit with the team, you can cut him at any point before the start of the regular season without taking a financial hit.
That would seem to make him a tempting player to claim, because Young is a talented receiver: He was a starter for most of his first two seasons after the Lions took him in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft, and he caught 81 passes for 990 yards and 10 touchdowns in 26 games. A 23-year-old who has the proven ability to produce in the passing game like that doesn’t become available very often.
But the risk with Young is that he’ll cause real problems for a team: Young wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill problem child, the kind of guy who shows up late to practice or falls asleep in meetings. Young’s issues included punching a teammate at practice and purposely lining up in the wrong place during a game because he was mad that the Lions’ coaches weren’t calling plays in which he was the primary receiver. A player like that can really damage a team.
So Rams coach Jeff Fisher is taking on a real risk by acquiring Young. A risk that 31 other coaches didn’t want to take.