Wait, there's more: Birds add Young at QB

The former Tennessee signal-caller agreed to a one-year contract. He will back up Michael Vick.

Posted: July 31, 2011

Reprinted from Saturday's editions

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Oh, by the way, the Eagles got quarterback Vince Young.

On the day they stunned the NFL by signing the No. 1 free agent on the market - cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha - the Eagles also added a significant piece by coming to terms with Young.

The one-year deal was made early Friday morning.

"Until a player appears on the transaction report, then any transaction is not official, including if the move has been discussed publicly," NFL spokesman Mike Signora said.

Because of Young's service time - he has played five seasons - he was on a separate list from the typical waiver wire and teams had to wait to claim him. The team confirmed the deal Friday night.

The former Pro Bowl quarterback is expected to arrive Saturday for training camp at Lehigh University. Young won't be allowed to practice until Thursday because he technically is a free agent.

The addition of Young gives the Eagles a proven NFL quarterback - albeit one with a rocky history - and fills the team's need for a backup after they shipped Kevin Kolb to Arizona on Thursday. Second-year quarterback Mike Kafka will remain the Eagles' third option.

The 28-year-old Young was probably the best available quarterback on the market who was willing to be a backup.

"I think it's good for Vince," Eagles starting quarterback Michael Vick said. "Get him in here, let him start to compete, and get him back to playing football again."

A message left with Young's agent, Tom Condon, was not immediately returned.

Young flamed out in Tennessee. The No. 3 overall pick in 2006, Young briefly considered retiring as a rookie. He was benched in his second season for violating a team rule and by his third season had lost his starting spot to Kerry Collins.

Young reclaimed the job in 2009 and had a phenomenal finish to the season. He guided the Titans to a 5-5 start last season but melted down in Week 11 against Washington when he injured his right thumb. He tried to reenter the game but was held back, and then after the game tossed his shoulder pads into the stands.

Young later had an altercation with coach Jeff Fisher and was benched again.

"I think Vince has done well," Vick said. "He's just had some tough breaks, but you see a lot of guys in this league that have some inconsistencies in their career and they're able to change it down the stretch."

Young had success as a starter, though, going 30-17 in 47 career starts. He finished last season with a career-best 98.6 passer rating. But there were holes in his game, and the Eagles and Drs. Reid and Mornhinweg believe they can fix them. After all, they revived the career of Vick, who has a similar style.

"I think Vince will mature as a player and get better, as far as understanding what this offense is about," Vick said. "I think it will help him long-term. . . . And if we ever need him, he's there for us."

The Eagles may need him in a pinch. Vick doesn't have a history of injuries, but he missed four games last season and the offensive line isn't exactly set with right tackle Winston Justice now on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

So there's a good chance that Young, who guided the Texas Longhorns to the 2006 national championship, will be called on at some point and asked to jump in for a team that has every intention of going to the Super Bowl.

There's always pressure in being an NFL quarterback, but in Philadelphia it is tenfold, and Young has had problems handling boos from fans.

"We all have a problem with booing," Vick said. "We all hate getting booed."


Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745, jmclane@phillynews.com, or @Jeff_McLane on Twitter.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|