Former Lions WR released from prison, hopes to return to the NFL

The troubled story of former Detroit Lions wide receiver Titus Young may soon turn into one of redemption.

A second-round pick of Detroit back in 2011, two seasons of solid production turned into hell for the former Boise State star. Dealing with bipolar disorder, the Lions cut Young due to erratic behavior in January of 2013. He was quickly picked up by the then-St. Louis Rams before being waived due to the same issue.

From there, it was downhill for the young man. Young accumulated a total of 25 criminal charges in California from 2013 to the time he was sentenced to four years in prison for assaulting a neighbor in Los Angeles.

Young has now been released from a state mental healthy facility after spending 20 months of the sentence locked up.

“Former Detroit Lions wide receiver Titus Young reportedly has been released from a California prison after serving nearly 20 months for assaults in the state,” the Detroit Free Press reported.

Young, 29, attributed the legal problems to his mental health issues.

“Having bipolar has pretty much torn down my life. It’s been four years of fighting so many different behaviors,” Young wrote in his diary from prison. “When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t want to believe it because I felt my life was too perfect to have bipolar. Football players don’t take medicine. I’m macho. Put me back on the field. But, no, that’s really not what I needed.”

As we’ve seen with suspended Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon, mental health is no laughing matter. Now on his meds and taking care of business to keep himself right, Young is hoping for a return to the NFL.

“Thank God I have it all under control now,” he wrote. “So when I make this comeback to the league, Rodger (Goodell) and the rest will understand that athletes are not exempt in mental illness. We have to live with these differences for the rest of our life.”

Young recorded 81 receptions for 990 yards in two seasons with the Lions after they made him the No. 44 overall pick back in 2011. It’s not yet known whether Young’s aspirations of returning to the NFL will come to fruition.

But this has the semblance of a feel-good story when the NFL needs one desperately.