NFL Free Agents 2012: Randy Moss Would Be Terrible Addition to 49ers

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIMarch 7, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 17:  Wide receiver Randy Moss #84 the Minnesota Vikings looks on prior to the start of the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Mall of America Field on October 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

There is no way around it; the 49ers would be idiotic to sign someone like Randy Moss

So, reading what 49ers general manager Trent Baalke told Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee when asked about Randy Moss was a little troubling:

"Everything's in play. I mean, we're going to take a look at all our options. ... We're not going to rule anybody out."

Ultimately, Moss is not a good fit anywhere. The only possible exception would be a team that struggles to sell games out and is looking for a way to do that, but even that is a bad idea. 

But as for the 49ers specifically, there are no fewer than three reasons that Moss should be seen as an absolute no-go. 

 

Limited Effectiveness

Let's take a look at Moss' 2010 season, which was his last in the NFL

Team Games   Receptions    Yards    YPC    TD   
Patriots 4 139 15.4 3
Vikings 4 13 174 13.4 2
Titans       8 6 80 13.3 0
Total 16 28 393 14.0 5

That is hardly a good final memory to have for a 35-year-old receiver that just missed an entire season of NFL action. 

The 49ers need a receiver that can stretch the field. At one point, that was Moss, but that element has been absent from Moss' game since 2009. There is absolutely no reason to believe that this will all of a sudden come back as Moss gets older and more removed from the game. That isn't how things work. 

 

Character Questions

The Titans were the third team that Moss played for in 2010, after splitting the first half of the season between New England and Minnesota.
The Titans were the third team that Moss played for in 2010, after splitting the first half of the season between New England and Minnesota.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

These have been detailed ever since Moss first stepped on to an NFL field. Heck, they were a big reason that he fell as far as he did in the 1998 NFL draft, and have never gone away. It's not exactly a frequent occurrence for an NFL player to play one season with three different teams.

Much like Terrell Owens, you can drown the character issues out when the person in question is completely healthy and putting up Hall-of-Fame numbers. 

But the problem is that when the player gets older and the effectiveness is minimized, the circus part of him doesn't leave town. As a matter of fact, it only grows, as great athletes are often the last to realize that they're not great anymore.

It wouldn't take more than one game where Moss got only a few targets for those problems to come back. For the 49ers, it's just not worth it. 

By all appearances, they were an incredibly tight team in 2011 that thrived in the overlooked role. Being a West Coast Team that hadn't enjoyed a lot of success in the last decade, that was likely to happen. 

With someone like Moss, they would be anything but overlooked. The attention would be there from Day One, and it wouldn't be positive. 

 

Lack of Need

The 49ers took the eventual Super Bowl Champions to overtime and handed them 10 points on fumbled punts, including the three that came in the extra period. 

This isn't to say that the 49ers are a flawless team, but they don't need to gamble on a player like Moss. Additionally, San Francisco has plenty of cap room. They can go out and sign a free-agent receiver, someone like Mike Wallace, who Barrows previously said the team should pursue.

The situation in San Francisco is not desperate enough on the field for them to gamble. It's also not desperate enough in terms of finances to go bargain hunting for a past great player, hoping he has one more good year left in him.