10 Questions with Twentyman: What are the Detroit Lions going to do with Titus Young?

Posted Jan 26, 2013

Lead writer Tim Twentyman offers his opinion on wide receiver Titus Young's recent comments via social media

Every week during the season I do a live chat on sponsored by Huntington Bank. I'll continue to chat from time-to-time this offseason as important dates come up (Senior Bowl, Super Bowl, free agency, draft, etc ...).

I can never get to all the questions in the chat because of the time constraints and the fact that I'm not the world's fastest typist. The nature of online chats don't lend themselves to expansive answers, either.

So, after each chat, I'll pick 10 good questions that I either didn't get to or would like to expand upon. I might also throw in a few here and there from my Twitter account, @ttwentyman.

Q. Why haven't the Lions cut Titus Young? From Tom

A. I have a great analogy for this whole Titus Young “Tweetgate” saga.

When I was younger, I used to play video games. Okay, I still do sometimes with my son, but not nearly as much.

When I was playing more often, every year I had to get the new Madden game at a price tag of around $50 back then. I'd play it for the whole year (and I was pretty good), and then when the next year's version came out with the new players and the upgrades, I had to have that one.

I'd take the previous year's game back to GameStop or one of those video game stores and they'd offer me something like $6 for the game. It always made me mad that I got such a lowball price and it felt like I was being ripped off, but I always took the $6. I wasn't going to just throw the game away or let it sit on the shelf.

The same can be said for Titus Young. Why would the Lions cut him now and get nothing for him? They'd be stuck with his $900,000 cap hit when there's the potential to get something for him via trade, even if that's simply moving up a few spots in a particular round.

Even I was smart enough as a kid to take the $6.

Q. Darrelle Revis to the Lions. Would you make that move? From @king_musiq

A. Revis is the best cornerback in the NFL. He's as close to a shutdown corner as there is in this league.

Unfortunately, when his contract is up next season, he wants to be paid like it, too. I saw a report that said Revis wants "quarterback" money on his next deal. That's upwards of $15 million.

The Detroit Lions are still feeling the effects of the old rookie salary scale with big contracts still left for Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh. They also committed over $130 million to Calvin Johnson last offseason.

The team has over $50 million in those three players at this point. They aren't in a position to add another big salary.

When teams build via free agency and not the draft they often pay too much. The Lions need to take advantage of the new rookie scale and start hitting some home runs in the draft. That's how teams are built in the new NFL.

Let's not forget Revis, 27, is coming off an ACL injury.

It sounds great to have one of the game's best cornerbacks roaming the Lions secondary next season, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense given the Lions' current state.

Q. Even if the Lions draft a DE. Are Ndamukong Suh or Nick Fairley athletic enough to play DE in the absence of Kyle Vanden Bosch or Cliff Avril? From Donald

A. They don't fit what the Lions do at defensive end. This scheme likes to get their defensive ends out wide and more in line for a straight shot at the quarterback. Doing that takes a little more speed on a consistent basis than either of them possess.

Additionally, I'm not a big proponent of taking a player out of a position he excels at to experiment or fill a weakness somewhere else.

Suh and Fairley are two of the top young three-technique defensive tackles in the NFL. I'll make an early prediction and say both of them will be in the hunt for a Pro Bowl nod in 2013.

The Lions are building around those two guys as the centerpiece to their line and if they can find themselves a good young edge rusher in April's draft, then they're onto something.

Jonte Green

Q. Do you see Jonte Green starting next year and Chris Greenwood being a major contributor? From Caesar

A. A lot depends on what happens with Chris Houston in free agency and whether the Lions draft a cornerback like Alabama's Dee Milliner in the first round.

Jonte is a physical corner with speed and he can be a productive cornerback in the league. The Lions are just scratching the surface with him.

Greenwood will be so interesting to watch come the spring and summer. He's big, fast, long and athletic. Some people within the organization are very excited about his potential.

The big question there will be how much did losing his rookie season effect him and how quickly can he acclimate himself to the NFL game coming from Division III Albion College.

All I can say is there are some lofty expectations being floated around for Greenwood next season.

Q. Is this the last year for the Pro Bowl? The game stinks. From Bonko

A. I hope so. I saw a tweet from Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News on Friday that said there are 32 players playing in the Pro Bowl who were not originally voted to the game.

Here are two ideas:

1. Increase the payout to the winning team. Make the winners check worth $100,000 or more and the losers get nothing but a trip to Hawaii and a thanks for playing. You don't think some young player will lay somebody out for $100K?

2. Make it a skills competition with rewards. I loved it back in the day when they had those skills competition and the quarterbacks had to hit the moving targets with the chalk-lined football and the receivers had to go through the obstacle course. That I could watch.

Q. Do you see Joique Bell overtaking Mikel Leshoure next season?

A. I've heard that it usually takes 18 months for an athlete to fully come back from an Achilles tendon injury -- if ever get back to being completely 100 percent at all.

The Leshoure I saw towards the end of the season was not the same player I saw the first two weeks of training camp in 2011.

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz alluded to it towards the end of the season when he said he expected Leshoure to come back next year with more explosiveness.

Bell is a very good player and good receiver out of the backfield and he was a terrific story for the Lions last year, but the Lions spent a second-round pick on Leshoure. They're invested in him. They'll give him every chance to make good on that investment.

I know the explosive plays weren't there for Leshoure this season, but lets not forget he did score nine touchdowns.

I think we'll see an even better Leshoure in 2013.

Q. Who was the most impressive running back and cornerback down in Mobile? From Sam.

A. The most impressive running back was probably Florida's Mike Gillislee.

At cornerback it was Desmond Trufant of Washington.

Here are my comments on both Gillislee and Trufant and 13 others who stuck out at Senior Bowl practices.

Q. Is Kenjon Barner a good replacement for Jahvid Best and does he fit the role? From Tom in Toronto

A. He does fit the role, Tom.

He's not as natural of a runner as LaMichael James was coming out of Oregon last year, but he might be a little better receiver. He rushed for over 1,700 yards and 21 touchdowns last year, so he has some explosiveness.

The nice thing if you're the Lions is that he's probably a second-day pick (second or third round). Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew told us after the season that he's on the lookout for a player with some "juice". If Barner goes to the combine and runs in the 4.4's or lower in the 40-yard dash he'd fit the bill.

Q. You can sign only one Lions free agent. Who is it and why? From Anne

A. columnist Mike O'Hara and I discussed this last week in our Wednesday Breakfast with Tim and Mike column. Mike said Cliff Avril. I went with Chris Houston.

Think about this. If the Lions lose Houston to free agency they'll have Ron Bartell, Bill Bentley, Chris Greenwood and Jonte Green under contract at cornerback next season.

Bentley played in only four games as a rookie and Greenwood missed the entire season.

Chris Houston has been the Lions' best cornerback the last three seasons and he's an above-average NFL cornerback in his prime. He won't be ridiculously expensive as some of the free agent cornerbacks on the market were last season and the Lions should do everything in their power to try and keep him.

With Houston on board, that gives them a lot of options for the right cornerback spot, not including anyone they potentially draft to throw into the mix.

Q. Any Chance (pun intended) Lions go Warmack at 5?  I've seen a lot of analysts putting him in the top 5 to 10, which is rare for any guard. From unnamed chat participant

A. No. 5 is probably too high for a guard. He'd have to really test out off the charts and dominate both at the combine and his pro day.

Most year's I completely dismiss the possibility of taking a guard at No. 5, but the fact that Mayhew came out after the season and said Matthew Stafford faced too much pressure up the middle, tells me the Lions are looking hard at upgrading the interior of the offensive line.

I'd guess that they'd take a defensive end, cornerback or tackle before a guard at No. 5, though.