|Titus Young has taken his act to the Rams. (US Presswire)|
To paraphrase Terrell Owens, Titus Young loves him some Titus Young. On Tuesday, a day after the Lions finally released him, the wide receiver said he was better than Calvin Johnson. The week before, Young tweeted some nonsense about being unselfish -- but didn't want to play unless he was getting the ball.
Young was out of work for less than 48 hours; the Rams claimed him off waivers on Wednesday -- but they were the only team interested in his services. USA Today's Mike Garafolo reported that none of the other 30 NFL clubs put in a waiver claim for Young, presumably because he's not worth the headache.
On Thursday, Lions general manager Martin Mayhew admitted as much.
“He didn't really have any trade value,” Mayhew said according to the Detroit Free-Press' Dave Birkett. “I didn't talk to anybody, I didn't call 32 GMs and try to get a seventh or anything like that. It's my job to know sort of what his value is, and he didn't have any trade value. ...
"We made a big investment in him. Didn't work out. Move on," Mayhew continued.
Coach Jim Schwartz added, "We exhausted every resource we had. The Titus move was about removing a distraction and doing what's best for the team."
The Lions took Young in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. In two seasons, he played in 26 games, caught 81 passes for 990 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also arrived in Detroit with enough baggage to scare off other teams that were otherwise impressed by his on-field talents. This brings us back to Mayhew's personnel philosophy, which has drawn criticism in light of recently drafted players' inability to stay out of trouble.
Last offseason, the Lions' first, (their other) second and seventh-round picks from the 2011 draft -- defensive lineman Nick Fairley, running back Mikel Leshoure and offensive lineman Johnny Culbreath -- were all arrested on marijuana-related charges.
"We're going to look at each individual situation," Mayhew said weeks before last April's draft. "We did a lot of homework on those guys last year [from 2011's class]. We're doing as much homework, or more, on guys this year. I think every individual situation has to be evaluated that way."
In light of how the 2011 class turned out, Mayhew's comments seem silly. Then again, the draft is more art than science. Sometimes troubled players work out (see Vontaze Burfict, the undrafted free agent who had a great season with the Bengals). Looking ahead to free agency, Mayhew acknowledges that the Lions are now in the market for a wide receiver.
"We were a nonplayer in free agency last year, so we'll definitely be a bigger player this year," he said. "We've got to make some changes, we've got to improve our roster and we'll definitely make some moves in that direction."
Mayhew will need to get it right in the coming months and hope the results come through on the field in 2013. There was speculation during the 2012 season that his job could be in jeopardy, something that could become reality if Detroit struggles again next year.