Is Randy Moss Worth a Roster Spot in 2013?
Currently unemployed receiver Randy Moss isn't sure if he wants to play football in 2013. Ultimately, that decision might not be his to make.
Mike Freeman of CBS Sports reported Thursday that Moss "hasn't decided" if he'll try to play another season. However, Freeman also wrote that teams are in fact interested in Moss for a role next season, although no teams were named.
Randy Moss still hasn't decided if he wants to play next season, I'm told.— mike freeman (@realfreemancbs) May 16, 2013
His days finished as a starter, Moss would be relegated to spot duty if he returned for a 16th NFL season.
However, an offense would certainly need to feel desperate about its receiver situation to consider the 36-year-old Moss as a viable roster addition.
Despite an incident-free season off the field with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012, Moss received just 47 total targets over 540 offensive snaps. He finished with 28 catches for 434 yards and three touchdowns in 16 regular-season games before providing seven catches for 112 yards and no touchdowns over three playoff games during the 49ers' Super Bowl run.
The 28 regular-season catches matched Moss's lowest total of his career.
Why the continued slip? The physical attributes that once made Moss the most dangerous receiver in the NFL are now eroding away.
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Moss caught just three passes of his nine targets thrown over 20 yards, demonstrating that his ability to take the top off a defense is now severely limited.
Moss' 27.1 yards per game last season also marked the second worst of his career, beat only by his disaster of a 2010 campaign. Although he faced defenses designed to stop the run—which routinely saw Moss faced with single coverages—the production simply didn't follow.
Moss caught four passes against the Green Bay Packers in the season opener and then didn't match that total again the rest of the season. He went for 75 yards—including a 55-yard catch—against the New York Giants in Week 6, but was held under 50 in every game for the remainder of the season.
Will Randy Moss be on a 53-man roster at the start of the 2013 season?
While a roster spot would now be hard to come by for the declining Moss, it's entirely possible he hangs up the cleats before even giving it a try.
Back in March, a teammate of Moss in San Francisco told Freeman that he thought Moss would be hesitant to play for a different team next season.
"I think Randy wants to play again," the player told Freeman. "I'm just not sure he wants to go to another team and have to learn another system."
The 49ers have since moved on, acquiring Anquan Boldin in a trade before drafting Quinton Patton in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft.
Now, Moss's one-year stint in San Francisco could be his last in the NFL.
The NFL is an increasingly young man's game, and Moss simply doesn't have the physical tools to win a roster spot at 36 years old. Even if he does want to play another season in 2013, the NFL will likely "retire" Moss with silence this summer.
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