2012 NFL Season: Randy Moss Can Define His Legacy with the San Francisco 49ers

Brandon AlisogluCorrespondent IAugust 1, 2012

If the mark of a well-lived life is to either write something worth reading or do something to be written about, Randy Moss has this life thing locked down. But what are those writings that he's inspired going to portray about him?

Players say that they don't care what others think of them. They're here to play ball and forget about the rest. Part of that is a defense mechanism and the remainder is denial. No matter how hard humans try, we care what another has to say about us.

So what will we remember Randy Moss for when his career is over?

Transcendent talent?

Or troublemaker?

There were the complications that led him to getting dismissed from the Florida State Seminoles despite his ridiculous 4.25 40-yard dash.

Then Moss moved to Marshall and set the world on fire. His talent was on full display while catching passes from Chad Pennington. Not even the NCAA record books could check him. 

But NFL teams weren't so sure about his transition to the pro game. Incredibly, he fell to the No. 21 overall pick as the Minnesota Vikings enthusiastically snapped up the dynamo.

Using the free fall as fuel, Moss turned in one of the most impressive rookie seasons in NFL history, racking up 1,313 yards and 17 touchdowns. He would continue to dominate on the field for the next five years in various ways for the Vikings, whether it be touchdowns, receptions or receiving yards.

Despite all of his success, the chatter surrounding Moss' character became a constant. There were accusations of laziness, run-ins with law enforcement officials and the infamous mooning-the-crowd incident against the Green Bay Packers

After a brief stop with the Oakland Raiders, Moss' antics and poor production resulted in a trade to the New England Patriots for a paltry fourth-round pick. Once in a more stable environment, Moss blossomed. He bought into the "Patriots way" and put together a record-setting season by hauling in 23 touchdowns in 2007. 

All of that goodwill couldn't save Moss from himself. The lack of a contract extension created dissension with the franchise and forced the Pats to ship Moss back to the Vikings. 

Once in Minnesota, things turned ugly. He would eventually be waived and have a cup of coffee with the Tennessee Titans. His time there was so uninspiring that Moss retired in 2011 with his reputation reverting to that of a malcontent.

Which leads us to present day.

Moss signed with the receiver-hungry San Francisco 49ers and has apparently been a model citizen. He sits in the front row for meetings and seems consumed with being the team player that coaches and teammates love to have around.

So this is it for Randy Moss. There are likely no more stops on what has been an excellent-but-star-crossed career. His legacy is on the line and he seems cognizant of that fact.

There's a saying that every day is a chance to turn it all around. How will history remember one of the best receivers to ever grace the field?