We've often thought about the quarterback position this offseason. Carson Palmer wants out or he'll retire, as his agent threatened through Chris Mortensen on the memorable NFL Countdown during the conference Championship weekend. Alright, no. We don't know with 100% certainty that Palmer's agent David Dunn is actually the one that told Mortensen that Palmer would retire if he's not traded. But when you think about, how else could Mortensen receive the information and why wasn't it disputed in Palmer's camp? It's a logical conclusion; though not solid simply because Palmer's camp remains mum on the issue. Media hiatus, remember?
Andy Dalton is the team's projected starting quarterback of the future. Some even go so far as to call him the next franchise quarterback. But sometimes franchise quarterbacks aren't labeled as such until their careers actually begin and the label is warranted. This isn't a knock on Dalton. It's just that certain labels are given to players drafted high during that year's draft before they're actually earned.
In the meantime the Bengals are deciding whether or not to sign a veteran free agent quarterback that can help bridge Dalton's gap until the rookie quarterback is ready to take over the job. Guys like Matt Hasselbeck, Donovan McNabb and Marc Bugler are popular names thrown around in some circles that could baby sit the position.
But Vince Young could actually be a guy that the Bengals might target. Take note and read carefully: We're not suggesting that the Bengals should sign Young once the Titans release the quarterback (or if they release him). We are suggesting, however, that the Bengals could sign him. Why on earth would would they contemplate something. We'll we're not sure that they are. But here's a few points that could go through their minds as reasons to consider signing him.
|#4: Young Has Steadily Improved|
If you disregard the 2008 season playing only three games with the Titans, Young's passer rating from his rookie season through 2010 has steadily improved. His touchdown to interception ratio in the past two seasons is 2-1 and last year, Young's 98.6 passer rating is a career high.
Passer rating is a suspect stat, says many. Fine. Young also achieved career highs in yards/attempt (8.0), adjusted yards/attempt (8.5) and yards/completion (13.5).
|#3: Mobility Helps In The Red Zone|
In the past four seasons, the Bengals have converted 50% of their Red Zone attempts into touchdowns once (2009). A lot of that has to do with the team's inability to pick up the tough yards on the ground, but also the team's inconsistency in the passing game. Palmer's efficiency dramatically fell inside the Red Zone, only completing 52.2 percent of his passes with an average 80.0 passer rating.
By comparison, Young completed 61.1 percent of his passes in the Red Zone with a passer rating of 87.0. Young has the advantage of rolling out in the Red Zone and picking up yards and possibly scores, as 12 career rushing touchdowns has shown.
|#2: Winning Record Is Hard To Dispute|
There's a scene during Cameron Diaz's upcoming movie, Bad Teacher, in which Jason Segel's character argues with a kid who is the better NBA player between LeBron James and Michael Jordan. The kid points out that Segel's only point is Jordan's six championships to which he yells, "It's the only argument I need, Shawn." God, how many times have been in that situation during our barroom sports debates?
Vince Young has started 47 games during his Tennessee Titans career and posted a 30-17 starting record. Comparatively speaking, Palmer has started 50 more games and won only 16 more than Young's 30.
Right. It wasn't Young who single-handedly won games. It was the combination of a good defense and a run-first offense. Sort of like how the Bengals won in 2009. Sort of like how the Bengals will focus on 2011.
|#1: As Mike "The Redeemer" Brown Says, "He'll Come Cheap."|
It's not unheard with Mike Brown to sign players that have had negative public impressions, hardly hesitating to give players a second chance to redeem themselves on cheap one or two year contracts.
If Young is a free agent, we have a hard time believing he'll be in high demand in the NFL with teams likely removing him from potential free agent signings due to his immaturity and history off the field. As often the case with players in similar situations, something clicks after they understand they're in a last-chance scenario. Maybe something clicks. Maybe something doesn't. Would it surprise you either way if Brown says, "what the hell"?
Again. We're not suggesting that the Bengals should sign Young, if he's a free agent. We could probably come up with as many, if not more, reasons that the Bengals should stay as far away from Young as possible. But that's not the point of this posting. The point is why the Bengals could decide that Young would be a reasonable investment as a veteran free agent quarterback until Andy Dalton is ready to take over.