Vince Young’s exit from Riders allows both sides to save face

Bringing Vince Young to Canada never really made much sense. A 34-year-old quarterback who was dumped by five NFL teams and last played in 2011 shouldn’t exactly be considered a CFL phenomenon-in-the making.

It wasn’t his fault he was perceived that way. Until he was cut by the Saskatchewan Roughriders when CFL teams had to declare their 46-man rosters, Young had misguided supporters believing he could immediately step into a 12-man, three-down Canadian offence and take control like he had at the University of Texas. Young’s amazing college career and successful early NFL years with the Tennessee Titans were often cited as reasons why he would succeed; Saskatchewan head coach/GM Chris Jones regularly noted Young’s impressive 30-17 record as a starter with Tennessee was the main reason he invited the quarterback to join the Roughriders.

Young’s arrival generated huge hype. Details of his contract, as reported by, showed there wasn’t much risk or greed involved — Young could have made $200,000 (about normal for a backup) and didn’t receive a signing bonus. It showed he was sincere about making a comeback and the Riders weren’t gambling too much if he didn’t pan out.

Much like their Canadian counterparts, American magazines and sports networks trumpeted Young’s attempted comeback, pondered his future after he tore a hamstring midway through training camp, and dutifully announced his release. At one stage, Jones joked with reporters that he wouldn’t mind a little less attention being focused on his big-name acquisition.

Young apparently followed an intensive workout regimen in the months following his signing, but he wasn’t in playing shape when he arrived at training camp in early June. He could throw the football, but he didn’t grasp the intricacies of a CFL offence — unlimited motion, a wider field, an extra player, a 20-second play clock, the importance of being in second-and-short situations — and fell behind Saskatchewan’s other quarterbacks. If Young had shown an innate ability to comprehend a CFL offence, or at least shown marked improvement during workouts, perhaps it would have been worthwhile to keep him around. But there’s little sense in retaining a QB without a rising-star future.

Since dealing away Darian Durant in the off-season, the Roughriders acquired 38-year-old veteran Kevin Glenn to be their starting quarterback. Young was competing with returnee Brandon Bridge, former Winnipeg Blue Bombers practice-roster player Bryan Bennett and late arrival Marquise Williams to be the backup.

Bridge played exceptionally well in the first preseason game while Bennett, who had been earning accolades during camp, faltered in both contests. Williams showed an impressive work ethic and improved rapidly, so he made the initial roster as the third-stringer behind Glenn and Bridge. Bennett was released the same day as Young.

After injuring himself on a running play during a training-camp workout, Young was diagnosed with a torn hamstring just days before Saskatchewan’s first of two preseason games; the injury was expected to take 4-6 weeks to heal. The Roughriders could release Young despite the injury because he is considered a CFL rookie.

There had been speculation Young might be placed on the six-game injury list, where CFL teams often stash prospects while paying their salaries (which are not then included in the $5.15 million salary cap). Following Young’s injury, Jones said he would discuss potential rehabilitation plans with the quarterback before making a decision.

Young never showed he could play in the CFL. With his injury, there was a gracious exit available for everyone involved, so the Roughriders and Young took it, without anyone having to admit it was a mistake.

Darrell Davis

Darrell Davis

Darrell Davis has reported on the Riders for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2006.
Darrell Davis
Darrell Davis
About Darrell Davis (119 Articles)
Darrell Davis has reported on the Riders for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2006.

43 Comments on Vince Young’s exit from Riders allows both sides to save face

  1. I don’t see that it was in anyway a mistake. It was a low risk/high reward move on both sides. VY had a chance to end his career on a better note than he did in the NFL and the Riders got a look at a QB with no risk other than a few plane tickets and board at training camp.

    Now can we please start the regular season?

    • Totally agree, but the article has to have a tone of drama to get people to read. Pretty sad when that’s how you have to trick people into reading your story. I liked that they tried it, but didn’t think he would make that team but was still hopeful he would. Maybe now all of these annoying stories with trumped up titles will finally go away.

    • horsieland // June 19, 2017 at 12:37 pm //

      Wrong Keith.
      I grow frustrated when riders fans excuse this as no risk, no cost, no problem.
      There is a certain standard that should exist in elite levels of pro sports. Fans are expected to put out good money and teams should conduct themself in a fashion that recognizes this. That means you bring in the best and most worthy, serious candidates. Young is neither of these.

      The riders made a mockery of themselves and the league. They told the fans their money and support is less important than Chris Jones ill-fated desire to make himself ” The carreer reviver”.

      Jones told the media he wishes less attention was paid to young. Did Jones really believe no one would pay attention.?

      • Horsieland your team had Akili Smith on its roster as a dressed backup QB at one point. Get over it.

      • Ladd Law // June 19, 2017 at 12:55 pm //

        You grow frustrated. How do and why would Rider fans frustrate you for any reason? If they do, I suggest you seek professional help and discuss your many low esteem and other issues you seem to be plagued with. Low risk, high reward. Nothing ventured nothing gained. No risk, no reward. Any of these cliches would work in this situation.

        • horsieland // June 19, 2017 at 1:40 pm //

          Then why doesn’t Jones sign you and I to try out for QB????as you say nothing ventured nothing gained!!!!!!!!!!

          • Riders13 // June 19, 2017 at 1:53 pm //

            Because you and Ladd Law did go to the pro bowl twice or win a college national championship. man, you’re an idiot. For someone so concerned about looking like a mockery, you should look in the mirror because you’re the biggest buffoon I’ve ever seen on the web.

      • Solara2000 // June 19, 2017 at 2:33 pm //

        Agree. The low risk argument doesn’t accurately define the risk. What’s at risk is the League’s brand. Treat it like a side-show and that’s how it will be received. Rider fans can deceive themselves but knowledgeable enthusiasts of the Canadian game want it respected for its uniqueness and what to see it approached in a professional and nurturing fashion.

  2. pantsonfire // June 19, 2017 at 1:31 pm //

    I wonder how many of those reps Young took in camp could have gone to the other QB’s. What I see now is, as oft stated by Rider fans & non-fans alike, Glenn is miles ahead of the backups. As for Glenn, 1 drive featuring a 24 yard pass to Roosevelt & 41 yards to Carter in double coverage ending in a FG is not exactly awe inspiring. Glenn says he’s ready with that as a warmup so if he says so, it must be true. We don’t need to concentrate on what we have & not start shuttling in a host of players again. With the preparedness of our bunch, I see that happening all over again.

  3. horsieland // June 19, 2017 at 1:44 pm //

    I wish Kevin Glenn gods speed. He gets a chance to start but deserves a better situation

  4. Glenn does have in front him some of the best receiver (core) package in the league , he will do fine

  5. Scottsask // June 19, 2017 at 1:51 pm //

    Better situation than what exactly? Or specifically. He was out of football too. He has a chance to start and serve as a mentor to two other younger players.

  6. horsieland // June 19, 2017 at 2:36 pm //

    To your comment above about nothing ventured nothing gained..

    Peyton Manning is a 2 time superbowl champ and multiple pro bowler…why not him??? ……nothing ventured nothing gained…Joe Montana too…..nothing ventured nothing gained…..

    See my point yet??????

    • Riders13 // June 19, 2017 at 3:13 pm //

      As usual, you continue to make shit up…I never wrote that but I commend Ladd Law for doing so. Why do you care if the Riders signed VY for a tryout and it doesn’t work? The mockery angle doesn’t cut it because the signing actually had positives for both the Riders and the league. Again, you’re making a mockery out these BBs and your own credibility. Even your handle makes a mockery out of yourself and your beloved team…”Horsie”? How old are you…3 or 70? Buffoon.

      • horsieland // June 19, 2017 at 3:18 pm //

        Horsieland is a moniker that was suggested by riderfans I was just obliging!!!… Don’t date say VY benefited the whole league that simply isn’t true. Name me one benefit????

        • Ladd Law // June 19, 2017 at 4:54 pm //

          So has been: horse’s ass, loser, mamma’s girl, and several others, why not choose one of them??

          • horsieland // June 19, 2017 at 4:56 pm //

            Maybe I will Ladd Law. I plan on entertaining you this season. God knows your team won’t!!!!

    • Ladd Law // June 19, 2017 at 4:53 pm //

      No we don’t. Just making shit up again as usual. The two listed are not viable in this argument, but some may be. Young was and so a tryout happened. It didn’t work out, so what. Troll by any other name is still a troll.

      • horsieland // June 19, 2017 at 4:59 pm //

        No he’s not. He hasn’t played in years. Is focused on things other than football and has may issues. We have seen many Young types before. It never works!!!!

  7. Scottsask // June 19, 2017 at 2:37 pm //

    Are you avoiding answering my question because you know your point isn’t valid?

  8. Scottsask // June 19, 2017 at 3:58 pm //

    Never mind I’m too bored to follow this through, I still like Horsieland, don’t let anyone talk you out of it.
    PS, we need the likes of Rod Woodson or perhaps Ronnie Lott more than Peyton Manning.

  9. grumblingaboutgreen // June 19, 2017 at 4:44 pm //

    one has to wonder WHY chris jones INSISTS on mimicking JIM POPP’S history of FAILURE. first the offseason’s CHINESE FIRE DRILL of players switching between the als and the riders
    duron carter
    darian durant
    kevin glenn
    kenny stafford
    marc-olivier BROUILLETTE?
    then adding VINCE YOUNG to the list of EX-NFL but OBVIOUSLY NON-CFL players here in hopes of MAGICALLY fixing your BROKEN TEAM.
    chad OCHO CINCO?
    troy SMITH?
    michael SAM?
    and also don’t FORGET that he had his own WANNABE tim tebow neg list article BAIT in johnny MANZIEL!


  10. Read Young was coming on nicely after a rough start in getting game ready. No one will ever know how he might of turned out since he NEVER HAD any game time. One can speculate till the cows come home. His age is just a # if he produces as many CFL QBs have shown recently and in the past. Hope he gets another shot once he heals up. With his injury he never had a fair shot to make the roster.

  11. horsieland // June 19, 2017 at 7:53 pm //

    Does anyone watch Pardon the Interruption?
    It’s and ESPN syndicated show on TSN.

    Today they basically said it was a dumb move to sign him and that he was done!!!!! This gets to what I’ve said. This type of move puts you unnecessarily under the spot light

  12. BleedzGreen // June 19, 2017 at 10:02 pm //

    Interesting tidbit from Pedersen’s site today – Not sure how much stock I’d put into it:

    “Chris Jones also referred to Vince Young as “retired”, two days after the club released the 34-year old quarterback. Jones said Young is back in Texas rehabbing his torn hamstring but if he’s interested in rejoining the Roughriders, Jones said the team would be open to that.”

    • ,,Patience // June 19, 2017 at 11:28 pm //

      That comment was in Jones’ interview today. He also added that Vince Young is a good guy; he would be welcome back. Really? Weston Dressler, John Chick, Darian Durant, Xavier Fulton. All stand up good guys that just happen to be good football players but not welcome here. As opposed to Vince Young, who had worked himself into fifth on the depth chart (fifth out of five) but is welcome back because he is a “good guy”. Washed up football player, if he was so promising, there are some really desperate NFL teams (Cleveland Browns) that would have him on their roster. But then Chris Jones is not a “good guy” either so I assume he wants to surround himself with guys like himself, big on ego but maybe a little short on talent. I remember when Jones came he said he was going to find nice guys that just happened to be good football players and then proceeded to cut all the nice guys and has brought in a steady stream of not such nice guys who continue to make the Riders look bad.

      • BleedzGreen // June 21, 2017 at 1:58 am //

        I’m a longstanding Rider fan. If my loyalty depended on which players, coaches, or GM the team employed, I wouldn’t consider myself much of a fan.

  13. horsieland // June 19, 2017 at 11:43 pm //

    The circus of the bizarre continues. I still say Jones is obsessed with making Young a starter because it would put him on a high pedestal and open doors for him. He doesnt give a shit about the riders only about himself

  14. horsieland // June 20, 2017 at 2:33 pm //

    I’d like to see a team pick him up just got teach jones a lesson

  15. Tiger man // June 21, 2017 at 9:40 am //

    “Bringing Vince Young to Canada never really made much sense. A 34-year-old quarterback who was dumped by five NFL teams and last played in 2011 shouldn’t exactly be considered a CFL phenomenon-in-the making.”

    If this quote is common knowledge, then Young’s release only confirms the above information and the lack of wisdom and common sense in Chris Jones.

    Not sure how Jones saves any face or credibility???

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