Amid a flurry of NFL free agency moves on Thursday, 33-year-old former NFL quarterback Vince Young announced his triumphant return to football with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders.
“I feel like I’m in shape, but I’m not in my playing shape yet,” Young told the Houston Chronicle. The newspaper reported that Young, who hasn’t played a game in the NFL since 2011, signed a one-year contract with the Roughriders with a team option for a second season.
After winning a national championship at Texas, going third overall in the 2006 NFL draft, and making the Pro Bowl in 2006 and 2009, Young was cut by the Titans in 2011 following a fight with then-coach Jeff Fisher. His playing days were studded with stories of wild partying and strip club escapades, but he was a productive player who threw for 8,964 yards over parts of six seasons.
By 2013, he had been signed and released by the Bills and the Packers, had accrued massive debt, and was forced to sell his belongings to pay some of it off. In 2014, he announced he was retired from football and would be taking a job in fundraising with his alma mater, where he’s been since. He was arrested last January for driving while intoxicated and eventually pleaded no contest, but he told the Chronicle that he’s matured since his NFL days.
“I’ve got a family now, I’ve got kids,” Young said. “I wish I knew back then what I know now. I was a little immature about things, but things happen for a reason. You learn from your mistakes. I’m happy and I’m going to take full advantage of this opportunity.”
The Roughriders’ first game is Thursday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Montreal.
Correction: Due to a labeling error that we should have caught, this post originally featured a photo of Ricky Williams, not Vince Young.