Lions release concussion-plagued Jahvid Best

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No one questioned running back Jahvid Best’s ability when he was well. But the Lions could no longer wait on that to happen.

The team announced they were cutting the 2010 first-round pick Wednesday, putting a sad end to a career cut short by concussions.

One of the Lions biggest on-field problems last year was putting too much faith in Best’s ability to return from those problems. He was effectively replaced this offseason when they signed Reggie Bush, and while they kept holding out hope he could return, that clearance never came.

“I want to thank the Detroit Lions organization for drafting me and giving me an opportunity to fulfill my dream and play in the National Football League,” Best said in a statement released by the team. “My time as a member of the Lions was a very special time in my life. My teammates, the members of the organization, the Lions fans and the people of Detroit will hold a special place in my heart. I’ll always be a Lion.”

Best played in just 22 NFL games, and none since October 2011.

76 responses to “Lions release concussion-plagued Jahvid Best

  1. Not his ability, but I called into question the use of a 1st Round pick on an RB when we weren’t ready to top off the RB positional group due to massive serious needs at other positions. That was a horrible strategy and the pick was not a smart one. Even though Best had solid talent potential, but we didn’t get positional value with that pick to the level we could have at other positions. Not only was it not a wise strategy choice, but we traded up, gave up material, and increased the $ liabilities in order to make this very questionable move that did not make sense at the time.

    They overestimated the value of the rest of the players on the team, just like they do every year, and every year the team produces less than what the GM thinks they will produce.

  2. Undoubtedly a casualty of the “New NFL”. Probably would have still been playing if not for the current rash of lawsuits and high profile suicides in the league.

    All that said, it’s probably the correct outcome for this young man’s long term quality of life. Appears to be a smart, balanced kid, so his life prospects seem to be bright.

  3. High risk pick coming out of college. Had the same problems. Detroit did not due any due diligence on him. Health questions from the get-go. Sad story, but overall a preventable “wasted” pick.

  4. Too bad, the kid seemed like he could be a great addition (to any team). I hope he has done well with the money he did get and can somehow start another career at the ripe old age of somewhere in his mid-20s.

  5. Sad. I’d like to say no one saw this coming, but I think everyone saw this coming immediately after his terrible concussion in college.

  6. Best of luck to him! Will always have great memories of him breaking loose against the Bears on Monday night.

  7. That sucks for Jahvid. Hope he gets healthy and doesn’t suffer any long term damage.

    On a another note, Reggie Bush is looking like a very good RB2 in fantasy football.

  8. Meanwhile, players are getting suspended for doing stupid stuff (murder, drugs, DUI) and this guy’s career is over from simply playing the game. Life is truly not fair sometimes.

  9. Shame to see a talent like that go away but there are more important things in life, he is young so he has a lot of years ahead of him.

  10. Seems like a really good kid! I hope you can find fulfillment doing something else! Lets hope that he has good health going forward! “Best” of luck to you 🙂

  11. One point missed (and I believe this is the case…) is that the Lions kept him on the roster long enough to where he will now be able to utilize the NFL pension program. They knew he likely would never be able to play again and could have easily released him last year.

    A class move by the organization for a guy who was talented and just had bad luck with injuries.

  12. What a class guy. It is too bad a good guy like him had these concussion problems. I wish him well in whatever he does going forward.

  13. i still want someone (are there any investigative reporters left in the world?) to detail what tests the nfl doctors use to clear (or not clear, in this case) players. From the articles i had read, the team doctors and third party doctors had cleared jahvid, but the nfl doctors wouldn’t clear him. i’m not alleging a conspiracy, just wanting to know more information. we all get to hear about rg3’s knee surgery the moment it’s over with (thanks, dr. andrews!), and most of us die-hard nfl fans know the difference between a normal sprain and the dreaded “high-ankle” variety. we know that rushing back from acl surgery can put too much stress on the kneecap…but it still seems like there is virtually no information on concussion protocal out there…

  14. sad as a lions fan, but happy he’s getting out before it’s too late. fans question trading up to select best, but he did impact games for the lions. he iced the MNF football wins against the bears with the 80 yrd burst, and completed a improbable comeback against the phins with an incredible run after a short catch. There are many other plays he made too, but he definitely contributed to the lions playoff run. He always has a huge smile and was easy to like even it was for a limited time.

  15. Long time Lions fan here,

    “Putting too much faith in Best” is right, and that goes to Linehan.

    Linehan is an o.k. coordinator, but has flaws that led to a large part of the team’s dysfunction last year. He insisted on forcing the run early in games, which was ineffective and caused the Lions to have to always play from behind.

    Once the Lions were forced to open up the playbook, they would put up points and were among the best in the 4th quarter….but always too little too late.

    A test of a good offensive coordinator is how well he can script opening drives, and Linehan is among the worst in the league in that category.

    Couple that with the fact the Lions force-fed Leshoure despite being outplayed by Bell (and even Kevin Smith).

    Also, there is a predictability to Linehan’s playcalling that always irked me. I remember the Jets and Buffalo talking about knowing exactly what the Lions would run late in games in Linehan’s first season with Detroit.

    Linehan is a bit under the hot-seat radar with Schwartz being the big personality, but if there is one coaching change I would like to see in Detroit, it is O.C. He’s not terrible, but with all the weapons we have he needs to do a better job.

  16. How sad for this kid. All the hope and expectations of a first round pick. Classy farewell statement.

  17. He said “I’ll always be a Lion”.
    The worrying thing is, as he’s been hit in the head so many times, he may be talking less about the sports team and more about the animal

  18. 😦 So sad. Wish you the very best, Jahvid, you gave us lions fans a brief moment of what could be. thanks

  19. That’s a bummer, Dude.
    Hopefully not too much damage has been done and Best can make a good life for himself in the real world. Best of luck to JB!

  20. Sad to see guys like him and Johnny Knox have so much potential and goes to waste because of injury. Just a reality check on how dangerous the NFL really is.

  21. The lions showed their class as well, by letting him hit the 3 year mark. I believe he is now entitled to the minimum NFL pension, probably not much but better then nothing….

  22. As a Bears fan, Best earned my respect. Great competitor. Sad to see him go this way, and hopefully he can come back to the game in some way in the future.

  23. Never heard a bad word about this guy. He’s worked through really brutal hits just to get as far as he did. Giving some props to the Lions, too, for working with him for so long and by extension helping him get some money to keep him on his feet while he moves on to the next phase of his life.

    Good luck to him!

  24. This is a cautionary tale on the extreme dangers of college and pro football and how truly fleeting a pro career can be. It is also an instructive story regarding the futures of young men skilled in sports and sports alone, and possessing few, if any marketable, “real world” job skills. He declared for the NFL early, and has no degree. Though he earned some serious income, he did so for a very short time, compared to his age and life expectancy. Hopefully, unlike so many of his fellow pros he has salted a fair amount of his bonus and salary away in some kind of safe account for the future and or for a rainy day, because the future was much closer than it appeared in the rear view, and as of today, the barometer has fallen precipitously and the clouds are rolling in.

  25. I have some questions. Have doctors banned him from playing in the NFL ever again? Has the league banned him? If another team claims him and he passes their concussion tests, can he still play? Is it team doctors or league doctors that wont pass him?

  26. I will never forget that college highlight of him flying high in the air, for its beauty and for its aftermath. I wish this young man good luck.

  27. He already had a history of concussions at Cal. Obviously, the Lions failed to do their homework.

    All the best… no bad pun intended!

  28. A shame for a good player to be out so early in his career…

    But 2010 was the last year before the rookie wage scale so he got big money for that contract. If he was smart with his money he’s set for life

  29. Truly big time bummer. Wish the kid nothing but the best. In life, one door closes, another door opens.

    Hope he can maintain his focus on the big picture.

  30. I know it’s an absurdly sensitive HIPPA world we live it but I can’t help but wonder why we never got any sort of details. What specifically is still wrong? What sort of tests is he not passing? Is there permanent damage? Are there differing, professional opinions?

    Just curious…..

    It was pretty sweet to root for a team with a guy who had “Best” on his jersey. Great name for a speed back…. on par with Jonah Friedlander and his “world champion” attire.

  31. So sad, JN has all the talent in the world and his career was cut short (possibly for the Best). Reminds me of Reggie Brown who started the demise of my Lions in the late 90’s-ish. Nothing but the best for u, Jhavid, u were an exceptional talent and its a shame the league didn’t get to see more of u healthy. Would’ve been an extremely productive back with our offense, and I knew you’d be a legit NFL player when u carved up my Spartans with Cal to the tune of an easy 10+ ypc in college. Best of luck and health to u my friend, Detroit will always have your back…

  32. Vanity held his career back, if he would accept the Kelso helmet all will be well again.

  33. larryallensjockstrap says: Sad when a young man waste talent like Hernandez, Young,
    Mentioning Hernandez and Young in the same breath? Really? One guy’s crime is murder and the other is taking some bottled water and cigars from a gas station. Very strange.

    Also, by all appearances Young is suffering from adult onset mental illness. If that proves to be the case, it means accusing him of wasting his life is about as smart as making the same accusation about a guy who gets cancer.

    But it is sad when a person is so close to living his dream and has it snatched away by circumstances beyond his control. Hopefully things work out for Best and for Young.

  34. “….and he got a concussion on the way to his car”

    Is that supposed to be funny?

  35. Should have stayed in track. He is not a football player who ran track. He was a track star who got paid to play football.

  36. lionsdraftguy:

    Perhaps, but I spend a ridiculous amount of time and tremendous effort to do my best. I’m content with my own understanding of the Lions and always striving to get better. Sorry if none of my comments resonate with you as interesting or insightful. Maybe one day they will.

  37. lionsdraftguy:

    Also I forgot to mention, but I never heard a reply from you when I asked about what info you have when you suggested you had more Lions info than anybody. So what do you have to share with me in terms of information or what general perspective do you have on the team?

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