1. High School and College:
Vince Young is one of the greatest college football players to ever play the game. To Longhorn fans, he is, and will forever be, a hero, and his performance in the 2006 BCS National Championship game is legendary. But VY was a hero even before that game. In fact, his high school accomplishments were somewhat of folklore.
Everyone had to see the 6”5 dual-threat quarterback in Houston who could throw 60 yards off his back foot and run past any defender on the field. And when he did it again against USC in the Rose Bowl, his legend was complete: Vince Young had been blessed by the football Gods.
In his first year in the pros, Young set the NFL record for rushing yards by a rookie quarterback (which has since been broken), earned a trip to the Pro Bowl, was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year, and became the cover athlete for Madden NFL 08.
VY followed up his award-winning rookie campaign with a trip the playoffs in his second season, despite a mediocre year that was shortened with injuries — something that would become a recurring problem for him over the next three seasons.
Young went down with an injury in Week 1 and served as backup to Kerry Collins for the rest of the season. His relationship with coach Jeff Fisher began to publicly fall apart.
He would stay in the backup role until Week 7 of the 2009 season when Fisher announced that Young would be the starter, following an 0–6 start to the season and an embarrassing 59–0 loss to the New England Patriots.
Coming off the bench, VY led the Titans to five straight victories and won eight of his ten starts, which earned him a trip the Pro Bowl. He finished 3rd in the voting for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
As the starter for the 2010 season, Young led the Titans to a 4–5 record, but suffered a torn flexor tendon in his right thumb in Week 11. As he left the field, Young tossed his shoulder pads into the crowd, which later escalated into a locker room altercation with coach Fisher before Young stormed out.
Following this dispute, he was once again moved down to being the backup quarterback and a few months later Titans owner Bud Adams stated that Young would no longer be on the team’s roster for the upcoming season.
Young was then picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles, which made him a key member of the now infamous “Dream Team.” He was not re-signed at the end of the season, following a lackluster performance on the field as the team’s backup QB.
That’s when things really went South for the Longhorn legend.
By the time the 2012 season rolled around, Vince was without a team, having been signed and released by the Buffalo Bills over the summer. He was also facing bankruptcy, having spent much of the $34 million salary he earned in the NFL ($26 million of which was guaranteed) on top of the $30 million he received in endorsement deals.
With nowhere to go, Vince Young returned to Austin and eventually earned his college degree from The University of Texas this past spring, becoming the first in his family to do so. While there, VY also worked on his comeback campaign, which was highlighted with a workout at Texas’ Pro Day.
10. Present Day:
Despite an impressive outing at his former team’s Pro Day, the 30-year-old received little attention this offseason until the Green Bay Packers brought him in for a workout on Monday.
With wild rumors circulating, the Packers signed Young to a one-year deal, securing him a chance at an official comeback this upcoming season. Even though he’ll be playing behind Aaron Rodgers, one of the best quarterbacks in the league, something tells us we’re looking at a new and improved Vince Young — one who has seen a lot of ups and downs.