The Saskatchewan Roughriders were hoping to get younger at quarterback for the 2017 season, but I’m not sure Rider Nation expected the team to take it so literally.
Earlier in the offseason, the Riders added 33-year-old quarterback Vince Young to their negotiation list. That news sent many eyebrows upward across the CFL as it came just after the Green and White dealt another mid-30-something quarterback in Darian Durant and signed a late-30-something quarterback in Kevin Glenn. Earlier this week, The Canadian Press reported that Young was going to make a decision on his football future in the coming days. Then, we learned that Young’s agent was heading north to finalize the deal. What seemed like an oddity a month ago is about to become reality.
From Young’s perspective, I get it. The former Texas quarterback wants a chance to go out playing the game he loves. He’s talked about wanting to play the game again. His head appears to be in the right place. Is this a long term play for Young? Probably not. It is a shot for him to give the game one more go and perhaps get the chance to go out on his own terms rather than being cut from a team and never being seen again on a football field. We saw Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson do the same thing in Montreal. That didn’t really work out that well for Johnson, but maybe Young will have better luck. Young isn’t the next big college star “coming north to show us how it’s done” like we’ve seen in the past. He has a different motivation.
The move is good for the league too. People talking about the league in March and it should provide some good buzz at the first ever CFL Week in a couple of weeks here in Regina. Young coming north is even getting some of the players talking.
— Kevin Glenn (@qterback5) March 8, 2017
When the Riders added Young to their negotiation list, I wrote then that it’s an odd move for the Riders. All of those reasons still stand. From a football operations perspective, it’s a move the Riders don’t really need to make. They need to find their next quarterback, and at 33-years-old, Young isn’t that guy. The team already has their stop-gap/insurance policy in Glenn as well. That said, maybe Young will be able to share some wisdom with some of the younger pivots and he could help the business side of things if he can crack the roster. At the very least, we have another reason to check out training camp. So, it’s not all bad.
Will this work out for Young? Who knows. Is it a smart move by the Riders? Not really. Is it fun and interesting? Absolutely, and that’s what sports and fandom is all about.