In college, Vince Young was a guy who seemingly could do it all.
He led the University of Texas to a 30-2 record, capped by his legendary performance in the BCS championship game victory over USC, completed nearly 62 percent of his passes and rushed for more than 3,000 yards. He produced a combined 81 touchdowns — more than two and a half per game —running and throwing.
Seven years later, the Buffalo Bills considered him the one guy who could ruin it all. So they waived him Monday.
“We spent a lot of money in the offseason,” Buffalo Bills general manager Buddy Nix said. “We put a lot of money in this football team, and we think we’ve got good players and a chance to be competitive.
“I wouldn’t want one guy to get hurt and couldn’t play and everybody else be helpless to get it done. So it’s a protection.”
Young signed a one-year deal with the Bills early in the offseason to be Ryan Fitzpatrick’s backup. The team backed away from him after he completed 12 of 26 passes and threw two interceptions in an extended preseason performance during a 38-7 loss to Pittsburgh.
He was Buffalo’s leading rusher in its first contest and its leading passer, in terms of yards, each of the next two games but completed just 48.1 percent of his throws and had a 48.2 passer rating.
"I want to thank the Bills organization for the opportunity and wish the organization and my teammates good luck this season,” he wrote on his Twitter account Monday morning.
It is the third time in a little more than a year the third overall pick and first quarterback in the 2006 draft was let go.
Tennessee announced plans in January 2011 to cut ties with him and finally followed through on July 28, shortly after the lockout ended. He spent last season as Michael Vick’s backup in Philadelphia but went 1-2 as a starter and was released early in the offseason.
Buffalo turned him loose after it acquired Tavaris Jackson in a trade with Seattle.
“I don’t want to get into what he can do and can’t do,” Nix said, according to reports. “It just didn’t work out. … Vince did everything that he could. He worked hard at it. He did everything that we asked him to do. It just didn’t work. So we’re going another route.”
Jackson entered the league the same year as Young but with much less fanfare. The Alabama State product was the fifth quarterback selected and has a .500 record as a starter (17-17) for the Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings.
Young was 30-17 as an on-again, off-again starter over five seasons with the Titans, which included six straight victories and the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2006. In the last 40 years of the franchise only Steve McNair (76) and Warren Moon (70) had more career wins as a starting quarterback.
A postgame disagreement with then-coach Jeff Fisher in 2010 earned him a suspension. That and an injury kept him out of action for the final six games of that season and ended his time with the Titans.
Before that he drew criticism for uneven play, unpredictable work habits and his inability to master many of the nuances of the team’s offensive playbook. He also, however, was a favorite of team owner Bud Adams, who from his Houston home followed Young as a high school and college star.
Adams, like so many in the Lone Star State, saw the guy who seemingly could do it all as someone who could do no wrong. Eventually, even he changed his mind.
Now Vince Young looks like a guy who might have to find something else to do.