New England Patriots: Randy Moss Returning to Foxborough for the Final Time?

Kyle CormierContributor IIIDecember 15, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 13: Randy Moss #81 of the New England Patriots catches a touchdown pass against the defense of Ty Law #22 and Kerry Rhodes #25 of the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on November 13, 2008 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Jets won 34-31 in overtime. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Perhaps the greatest wide receiver in New England Patriots' history could be taking the field for his final time in front of the crowd in Foxborough Sunday night.

Randy Moss, who set the NFL's single-season receiving touchdown record with 23 as a Patriot in 2007, will return to town with the San Francisco 49ers in what could be his last season in the league.

Considering that Moss only played in just over three seasons in New England, the mark that he left on the team's record book is astounding. He has the franchise's all-time record for touchdowns in a season (23), touchdowns in a game (four) and is tied for second for touchdowns in a career with 50—all while playing from only 2007 to early in the 2010 season, before he was dealt to the Minnesota Vikings.

For the last two years, fans in New England have clamored for a return so that the team could once again have Moss bring in the deep balls as he did in the past, but Bill Belichick clearly did not see that as a smart move.

Moss sat at home for a year, announcing his retirement in August of 2011.

However, after just one year away, he decided to give it another go and signed a one-year contract with the 49ers this March.

Moss has largely been an afterthought this season with the Niners, and has just 21 receptions for 326 yards and two scores in 13 games. He could see more opportunities Sunday, though, with fellow receiver Mario Manningham being downgraded from "Doubtful" to "Out" by San Francisco on Saturday night.

One thing to watch for if Moss does see extended playing time is his ability to cope with what could be an extremely wet night in Foxborough on Sunday. During his time with the Patriots, playing in cold, rainy conditions did not seem to be his strong suit.

Either way, it will be interesting to see how this all-time great is received in New England in what is likely his final appearance in front of his former hometown fans.