By now a lot of you have probably already seen this, but Randy Moss mentioned a few weeks back that he'd like to go back and play for the Patriots,... but also would play for the Browns or the Seahawks.
"Like I said, man, I want to play football. If it's (with) the Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, wherever it is, I just want somebody to respect what I do," Moss told KFAN 1130-AM. "The loyalty that I believe in, man, I think that teams that I play for ... I just like loyalty, and I want that around me. "Whoever wants me, that's where I'm going to play at."
Some people saw this as a slight - like saying, "shoot, I'd even play for the lowly Seahawks or Browns." I'm inclined to just think that he is more than just throwing out random teams. There's a chance the leadership/coaching of those teams have some draw to him- and I kind of doubt that he was saying it as an insult.
I'm not really sure how I feel about this - but I'm wary of adding a guy like Moss and risk negatively affecting the locker room and I'm not particularly sure he'd "buy in" to Carroll's program.
On the other hand, Carroll is a players' coach. He has had success with Blue Chip, me-first style players for the last decade or whatever at USC. I realize that Moss isn't a young college player anymore, but my point is that Carroll seems to have a way with people. Also, Moss has a lot of experience with Darrell Bevell, and if their relationship is good things could potentially go smoothly. Moss famously clashed with Brad Childress but I don't remember any reports of animosity between him and Bevell. If Moss, Bevell, and Carroll could develop a trusting relationship, Moss could potentially be a boon for the Hawks for the next two or three years. He has undeniable talent - and would be a very dangerous red zone weapon for the Hawks - something you cannot have too much of.
Moss, for one, thinks he has a lot left in the tank. He said, in a mostly NASCAR-related article (I love that Moss is a NASCAR fan):
I want to play wherever they want me to play. Like I said, I'm a free agent. know I'm 34. I know I didn't have a great season last year. But I also know that these (his hands) still work and I know I can still play at a high level. We just need to get this season back on track so I can start working on finding that team that wants Randy Moss on their roster.
Does Moss fit here? I'm of the opinion that Mike Williams is best as a number 2 receiver, a possession style receiver. He's dangerous because he can man-handle corners and get first downs. He's not the deep threat that Moss is, and the combination of the two could be pretty spectacular in theory. Mike Salk of Brock and Salk agrees with that sentiment and said last year at the time Moss was still on waivers:
Randy Moss might be the most talented wide receiver in the game still today. Randy Moss is that deep threat. Randy Moss is the guy who could be a true, legitimate No. 1 who can have coverage dictated to him and can still beat it. He can allow Mike Williams to play what he really should be doing - a possession receiver. He can allow (Deon Butler, Golden Tate and Brandon Stokley) to go into the slot. He could really completely change the dynamic of this offense.
For your information, Brock and Salk ultimately agreed that Moss' abilities outweighed his baggage. In addition, if Mike Williams were to get hurt again next year it would provide a lot of depth at the position.
At 34, Moss figures to have a few productive seasons remaining, and has a track record of significantly increasing his production following a down year. Moss is just three seasons removed from his 98-catch, 1,498-yard and 23 touchdown season with the 2007 New England Patriots, who had acquired a disgruntled and unproductive Moss from the Oakland Raiders for a fourth-round pick.
Moss parlayed that All-Pro season in '07 into a $9 million per year contract with New England the following off-season. While that sort of production, and contract, are unlikely, Moss is likely capable of catching 60-70 passes for over 1,000 yards with double-digit touchdowns. The question NFL teams will have to consider is whether or not they want the significant baggage Moss brings with him.
Now, will it happen? Who knows. Last year when Moss was released on waivers, the P-I claimed from multiple sources that Carroll was all about bringing Moss over here, but ultimately the Hawks declined to claim him. There could have been a myriad of reasons for that though - the idea didn't work at the time, he'd have to come in and learn the offense quickly, Carroll didn't think he'd catch on quick enough - whatever, I don't know so I'm just speculating. But if Moss were to come in and take part with training camp and the OTA's, get some rapport with whomever the Hawks' QB will be this season, get comfortable with the coaching staff, Moss could be potentially a steal. I also think that Moss would be a fan favorite here - everyone loves a character as long as he's helping your team.
So what are the odds? He's likely to get some interest once the CBA is worked out. John Clayton said on Calabro's show:
The guy can still play, there's no question about that. I just can't see him coming out this far unless he has no other offers. And he'll get a couple offers.
So according to Clayton, not too great. We'll see - depending on who the Hawks take in the draft and whether Sidney Rice ever becomes a legitimate option to pursue, Randy Moss could still be on Carroll and Schneider's radar - and I wouldn't be against it. Worst case? You could release him like Carroll did with T. J. Houshmandzadeh, LenDale White, and any other players that didn't buy in.