Jobu weighs in on the announcement that Randy Moss wants back in the NFL.
It seems every offseason we have to answer the following question: Does “Athlete X”, who either sat out or barely played last year, have anything left in the tank? Could he be the last piece that a championship contender needs in order to get a ring? Should he just stop kidding himself and stay home?
Like Manny Ramirez in baseball, Randy Moss is “that guy” in the NFL right now. Yesterday, Moss used a web-chat to make his desires to return to pro football public. It was a happy birthday present to himself I guess, because the future Hall of Fame inductee also turned 35 yesterday. So, at 35, does he have anything left in the tank?
Moss hasn’t played a down of football since a very tumultuous 2010 season. He began the year on the New England Patriots, where his career-marring attitude problem finally reared its ugly head. Before the start of the season he expressed that he didn’t feel wanted in New England, and after week one, he announced that this would be his last season with the team. The Patriots decided to expedite Moss’s departure and sent him packing after week four.
He was traded back to the Minnesota Vikings, the team he broke into the league with in 1998. It would not be a happy reunion. Moss immediately clashed with head coach (and winner of the child molester look-a-like competition ten years running) Brad Childress, even approaching the Vikings’ owner about firing the coach. Just four weeks later, Moss was waived by the Vikings. He landed on the Tennessee Titans, but caught only eight passes in the team’s remaining eight games.
For the season, Moss caught just 28 passes for 393 yards (both were career lows) and 5 touchdowns. In August on 2011, probably because of his lack of suitors, Moss decided to retire from the NFL. In a way, it was a fitting end for the cantankerous wide out. Moss had always been plagued by attitude and comportment issues (remember his tour in Oakland?), so the fact that he went out and left a few burned bridges in his wake didn’t really surprise me.
While Randy Moss the person (at least when it comes to his relationship with the teams he played for… I am not judging him personally) probably deserved to be blacklisted from the league. Randy Moss’ on the field persona deserves another chance to prove himself, and go out on his own terms.
We’re talking about one of the best wide receivers of all time. In his prime, there was no one on any defense who could even touch him. He led the league in touchdowns five times and racked up 153 for his career (tied with T.O. for 2nd all-time). If not for his attitude problems and some injuries, we might be talking about the all-time touchdowns leader (or at least maybe the chase for that would be part of the comeback talks). Moss is also currently fifth on the all-time list in receiving yards and could end up second with a productive 2012.
At the end of the day, Randy Moss is still 6’4″. At 35, he might not be as fast as he once was, but I’m willing to bet he can still burn some defensive backs here and there and make big plays. Even without his top speed, he’s still got good hands. I think there are a lot of teams out there that absolutely should sign Randy Moss. Many teams, in fact, would be stupid not to take a chance on him at this point (perhaps New England reunion would highly benefit both parties). If the Giants lose one of their receivers to free agency or contract demands (Cruz and Manningham both have some serious leverage for a new deal if they want it), I would welcome Randy Moss on my team.
If Randy is serious about his comeback, he will make an impact. We all remember what he did in 2007 with the Patriots, when everyone was doubting his commitment to the game after he basically bailed on the Oakland Raiders (98 catches, 1,493 yards and a record 23 TDs). One thing Moss will probably have during this comeback attempt is a very short leash. If he proves to be out of shape, or shows diminished skills, he’ll get cut. If he shows any indication of his reputed attitude issues, he should get cut.
As the great John Burroughs once said, “Traveling and society polish a man, but a rolling stone gathers no moss, and a little moss is a good thing on a man.” – Will a little Randy Moss be good for an NFL team this year? We’ll find out soon enough.
Titans image courtesy of: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Catch image courtesy of: REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine
Mooning image courtesy of: The associated press
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