February 13, 2012
"Your boy be back for the upcoming season," the NFL's ninth all-time leading receiver told fans during a Ustream chat Monday morning. And with that, the Randy Moss comeback is on.
Moss hasn't played since his bizarre 2010 football odyssey took him from New England to Minnesota to Tennessee. Early that season he made cryptic remarks about not feeling wanted by the Patriots. He reiterated the statement a few weeks later, leading to his trade to the Vikings. His Minnesota reunion and new partnership with Brett Favre quickly fizzled with only 13 catches in four games. His exit was hastened by the lack of productivity and some locker room antics that included yelling at the proprietor of a local restaurant.
After his release, he threatened to sit out for the rest of the season if he wasn't claimed by a team he wanted to play for. The Tennessee Titans picked him up and it was believed that his deep-play ability could help the 5-3 team make a run of the playoffs.
Moss was woefully ineffective, though, going multiple games without a target and spending others barely seeing the field. In his eight games in Nashville, Moss had six catches for 80 yards. The team was 1-7 during his time in uniform.
His defenders will say he's only 35 and just three years removed from an 83-catch, 13-touchdown season. His detractors will say he's 35 and three years removed from an 83-catch, 13-touchdown season.
Five teams have already discovered that Randy Moss eventually isn't worth the headache. When he was a 22-year-old who could outrun and outjump every defender in the league, he was. When he had Tom Brady lofting up deep passes to him, the other stuff was easier to put up with. Now that he's 35 and rusty, will Randy Moss get another chance?
Somebody will take a flyer on him, hoping that his legs have some freshness and that the layoff will have humbled him enough to stay quiet and contribute. But receivers get old quickly, particularly ones who haven't played in 20 months. A Randy Moss revival will be a low-risk proposition for whichever team decides to sign him. If history is any judge, it'll also be low reward.
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