Texas legend Vince Young took advantage of his three-day minicamp tryout with the Cleveland Browns and signed a one-year contract with the team on Thursday.
Young is now one of four quarterbacks on the roster, along with fellow veteran Tyler Thigpen, who also signed on Thursday after participating in the minicamp. Prospective starter Bobby Hoyer and 2012 undrafted free agent Alex Tanney round out the current roster at the position.
The one-year deal will allow Young an opportunity to make the team in the fall, which he has failed to do the last two seasons, having spent fall camp with the Buffalo Bills in 2012 and the Green Bay Packers in 2013. Thigpen was also out of the league last year, but gained extensive starting experience with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008.
The Young that showed up in Cleveland over the last three days was one that was familiar to the Browns head coach:
Coach Mike Pettine said that Young showed flashes of his old No. 3 overall pick self during the three-day minicamp, but also joked with Young that "the rust was falling off in large clumps.''
For his part, Young said that he still has a deep desire to play the game:
"The fire is lit always,'' he said. "One thing a lot of people don't know, I love this game so much. I do a lot of different things, the Play 60 football teams I have in Houston, I just love being around the game, teaching the next generation. ...I'm just happy to be a part of the game.''
The fire and happiness to still be playing may not be enough to help Young land a roster spot in the fall -- he'll have to demonstrate a command of the offense and execute at a high level during the preseason for that to happen, but it seems clear that Young understands how close he is to losing his dream of playing in the NFL again and that should drive him to work as hard as he has in his career.
He'll also benefit from a full offseason with the team, which he didn't have the benefit of last fall in Green Bay when he had to take a crash course on that particular offense.
And so the dream lives, for another summer at least.