While not necessarily the ending they had hoped for, the San Francisco 49ers are coming off a successful 2012 campaign—eventually losing to the Baltimore Ravens in one of the more entertaining Super Bowls in recent memory.
As all NFL teams deal with this time of the year, the 49ers are faced with decisions about their roster and how they can improve on the previous year’s results.
Though there may be more pressing needs—deciding on quarterback Alex Smith’s future with the team, potential cap casualties in Jonathan Goodwin, Donte Whitner and Carlos Rogers (via Niners Nation, an SB Nation site) and potential deals with free agents Leonard Davis, Dashon Goldson, Isaac Sopoaga and Delanie Walker—assessing whether or not to bring back wide receiver Randy Moss is pretty cut and dried.
On one hand you have an eccentric 36-year-old wideout on the way, way, way backside of his career. Moss is a shell of his former self who still wavers on his current role in the NFL.
I don’t like my role. I really don’t. I like to be out there playing football. One thing I've really had to understand is being a decoy. I understand my presence out on the field, that I don’t always have to touch the ball to help the offense score touchdowns. Like I said, I don’t really like that, but it’s something that I’m used to. I had to grow to understand it.
On the other hand, Moss will come pretty cheap to any team that shows interest—particularly the 49ers, who could provide the wide receiver with the best chance to achieve the one thing his career is missing at this point: a championship.
Moss has made it clear that he wants to play next season (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk). The question is exactly how much interest is out there for a guy that finds it difficult to come to grips with his current stature in this league.
While Moss might not be the upgrade that San Francisco could use at wide receiver—especially now with an expanded playbook for Colin Kaepernick to work with—providing what he did this past season (28 catches, 434 yards and three touchdowns in all 16 games) would be a welcomed addition to the roster.
If there is any team that could get away with handing Moss a minimized role with a reduced rate, the 49ers are certainly one of them. Not at least exploring the option would be foolish considering his contribution in 2012.
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