COMMENTARY | After a tumultuous 2012 campaign that saw the New Orleans Saints endure the shame of a bounty scandal, the year long suspension of head coach Sean Payton, and a paltry (7-9) record, the team is eager for a fresh start.
With Sean Payton reinstated, he's ready to restore stability and order. He's already switched defensive coordinators and schemes, and no doubt more personnel changes on defense are imminent, but what about the offense? It's blasphemous to suggest that this unit needs an overhaul, since it ranked second in the NFL in total offense (28.8 points per game and 410.9 yards per game) according to NFL.com. That said, Sean Payton prides himself on finding ways to improve his offense and score points.
Despite the arsenal of talent on offense, there is another weapon worth considering-Randy Moss. He's an unrestricted free agent with the San Francisco 49ers. The future hall of famer was wasted in the 49ers offense by playing the role of decoy all season. He caught a meager 2 receptions for 41 yards in the Super Bowl when he should have been an option on the team's final possession. Had he been targeted, the 49ers could have won the game. Moss has yet to state what his plans are for the upcoming season.
Prior to signing with the 49ers last season, Moss worked out for the Saints after a year long hiatus from the game, but opted to take his talents to the Bay area. Returning to the 49ers wouldn't be a bad move, but joining the Saints is a better move. For starters he has Drew Brees throwing him the ball. Brees, an All-Pro quarterback, has a penchant for spreading the ball around, and throwing his receivers open, giving them opportunities to make plays. That's no slight to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but Brees is an established superstar with the hardware and pedigree to win a championship.
The Saints have a better offense than the 49ers, particularly with their depth at the skill positions. Moss would join a talented group of playmakers that features tight end Jimmy Graham and receivers Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, and Lance Moore. Not to mention a stable of talented running backs including Darren Sproles. A defensive coordinator would get an ulcer trying to game plan for each player. Another benefit for a Moss-Saints signing are the red zone opportunities.
One of the reasons for the 49ers losing the Super Bowl was their inability to target Moss inside the 20-yard line. Brees is a master of throwing fade routes and back shoulder passes. Giving him a target of Moss' stature and leaping ability to throw jump balls along with Graham and Colston is like throwing alley oop passes in basketball. The offense would be the football version of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers.
Moss would also benefit from Sean Payton's offensive imagination. Payton is regarded as one of the best play callers in the game based on his ability to utilize his players' strengths by finding favorable matchups to exploit opposing defenses.The Saints lost receiver Robert Meacham in free agency last season. Meacham was one of their best vertical threats, especially in the slot. Receivers Joseph Morgan and Lance Moore have alternated in games to fill that void. Moss can step in and play the slot position and lineup on the edges giving Payton the flexibility to line him up in both bunch and shotgun formations.
From the Saints' perspective, adding Moss gives them another veteran leader in the locker room that will be a coach and mentor to teammates on and off the field. Collectively, the Saints receiving corps is one of the NFL's best, and having Moss to share his expertise will only make them better.
On the business side, he would be an inexpensive acquisition for general manager Mickey Loomis. They can sign him to a one-year deal that wouldn't burden their salary cap, which is fairly high after last season's blockbuster $100 million signing of Drew Brees, and a multitude of other acquisitions. With a chip on their shoulder the size of Louisiana, the Saints are eager to add a second title to their trophy case. Signing a player of Moss' caliber could help them accomplish this feat.
Daniel Miller is a freelance sports contributor for AOL Patch.com. He's also worked as a freelance sportswriter for the Dallas Morning News, sports editor for Sirius XM Radio, and a sports production assistant for KXAS-TV NBC-5 in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.You can follow Daniel on Twitter @dm26Nola
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Sean Payton
- New Orleans Saints