Moss: Good or Bad Move for the Niners?

Holy crud, has it really been since ’09 since I posted something here? Guess I need to stop reading about the NFL and start writing!

With so much going on, namely the Manning Sweepstakes, the thing that caught my eye today was Randy Moss’s signing with the Forty Niners — I find it an incredibly odd move for a number of reasons.

Firstly, Harbaugh strikes me as someone who has an incredibly large ego, someone who doesn’t like to be disagreed with and certainly someone who’s not willing to put up with players quitting on the field. And, as anyone who’s even remotely paid attention to the NFL can see, Moss has phoned it in on a number of teams and under a number of different coaches, among them Bill Belichick. While I’ve never been a huge fan of the Pats or of Belichick, the guy knows how to coach and I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’d say that he’s weak. Belichick demands team play and high effort and, for a few years, Moss was able to hang there. But, as was predicted the day that he was traded from the Raiders to the Pats, he began to quit. While Harbaugh seems to the be the real deal, the reality is that he’s a very young and inexperienced NFL head coach.   And, if the demands of Belichick wasn’t enough to keep Moss motivated, I’m far from convinced that Harbaugh will have better luck.  And, especially given Chris Carter’s, “Randy’s got more quit in him…” evaluation of Moss, I see this signing is little but a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.

But hold on a minute. Moss is at the end of his career, one that’s seen 7 Pro Bowls, 5 All Pro designations and, perhaps more importantly, the 2007 Pro Football Writer’s Association Comeback Player of the Year. Keeping in mid that stints with the last two teams that he’s been a part of, the Vikings and the Titans, have ended badly for him, Moss may be just humbled enough to make a run at another Comeback Player award. And, as much as he would’ve loved to play last year, there were simply no teams who were willing to take a shot on him. I imagine that comes pretty close to rock bottom for an athlete as talented as Moss and hard times have a way of changing people. All reports that I’ve seen seem to indicate that Moss still has speed and freakishly good hands, things that may add up for a successful relationship between the two parties. Given the fact that the Niners seem to have landed Moss with very little financial risk, the move may make sense.

The worst part, as I see it, is that, as the Niners feel that they have a guy who can stretch the field, I don’t think that they’re in the market any more for another top receiver. And, given the fact that they lost Josh Morgan to the Redskins, they may have just shot themselves in the foot if Moss fails to produce. At best, they’ll bring in #3 and 4 receivers such as Oakland’s Chaz Shilens to complement their existing starters but, for true impact receivers, they seem to be off the market. Good luck Harbaugh, you may need more of it than you realize.

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