Taking plays off in Minnesota, taking a whole season off in Oakland (2006), creating an unpleasant departure from New England and disgracefully playing for three teams in 2010—these are the clear-cut negative aspects surrounding Moss.
On the flip side, Moss has played at a level surpassed only by the Greatest of All Time, Mr. Jerry Rice himself. He is second to the GOAT in career receiving touchdowns, two mediocre seasons away from being second in career receiving yards and is the sole occupant of the No. 1 slot in single-season receiving TDs with 23 in 2007.
No receiver in the history of the NFL—Rice included—has displayed the combination of size, speed, sure-handedness, intelligence and big play-making abilities like Moss.
That’s why his original moniker of The Freak is so apropos.
Now as a 49er in 2012, how do we synthesize the good and the bad of Randy Moss’s career and translate it into the pros and cons of starting him in SF this season?
Will one outweigh the other, or will we see a version of Moss as of yet unseen throughout his playing days?
For the purposes of this article, let’s convert the good and the bad into the potential pros and cons of starting him in the Niner offense under head coach Jim Harbaugh and quarterback Alex Smith.
Note: Despite my predilection for cynicism, I’ll place the pros after the cons to ensure we end on a positive note.