For those clinging to memories of the Tom Brady-Randy Moss connection, put those dreams to rest.
The man who caught 23 touchdowns in 2007 and made two Pro Bowls during a three-year run (2010 was a joke), is back in the league after retiring last season.
Moss made headlines this offseason when he announced via Ustream that he was ready to play again after settling some personal issues.
Speculators immediately discussed the Patriots as a potential target. With a huge need at wide receiver and the potential that Moss was looking to re-establish his value a la 2007, the fit seemed natural.
Not so fast, Pats fans.
After putting together a sizzling workout with the Saints, Moss’ list of suitors grew. Reports surfaced that the Saints were contemplating an offer while other receiver-needy teams like the Jets, Eagles and Bears could pursue the future Hall of Famer.
Meanwhile, the Patriots didn’t express any public interest, but it’s hard to imagine Moss’ name wasn’t discussed by Belichick and his staff. After all, Josh McDaniels was the man who helped Moss become Moss again, and he certainly isn’t afraid to go to bat for his guys.
As badly as we wanted to see him streaking down the right sideline for another Brady bomb, I don’t think Moss was ever a realistic option for the Pats.
Yes, he was fantastic for his first three seasons. He broke the single-season touchdown record, took the top off defenses and appeared to be a good citizen…for a while. By the end of ’09 and the beginning of the 2010 season, the fact remained that Moss simply wasn’t the same as he was in ’07. He wasn’t consistently gaining separation, and he wasn’t even a big part of the gameplan.
He shot himself in the foot with his post-game press conference where he bashed the Patriots for not addressing his contract situation and sealed his fate with his pure lack of effort against Miami.
After he was dumped for a third-round pick, he disappeared with two teams. On the other hand, the Patriots regained the locker room and brought in a bunch of talented, young players. Belichick is smart enough to know that bringing back a guy like Moss has the potential to upset the precious team chemistry.
In San Francisco, Jim Harbaugh has a strong locker room with guys like Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Frank Gore and Vernon Davis. What the 49ers don’t have is a downfield threat. Michael Crabtree was supposed to be their No. 1 receiver and a steal with the 10th pick in 2009, however he’s been underwhelming at best.
Even though he ran a reported 4.39 forty at the Saints workout, there are still questions about whether Moss is capable of generating that type of speed and separation in an actual game. The last time we saw him, he couldn’t. Then again, with a strong running game, Moss doesn’t have to be utilized as much as he was in New England.
I won’t lie and say I wasn’t excited about the possibility of Randy donning number 81 in Foxboro again. But folks, it’s not happening.
So instead of witnessing Brady and Moss break records again, enjoy watching Alex Smith underthrowing the greatest deep threat of all time.
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