Goodbye to Jarvis Moss?

Noah CrouseContributor IAugust 2, 2009

DENVER - NOVEMBER 23:  Defensive end Jarvis Moss #94 of the Denver Broncos leaves the line of scrimmage against the Oakland Raiders during week 12 NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on November 23, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 31-10.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

It is being reported that Denver Broncos defensive end/outside linebacker Jarvis Moss is considering retirement. The story was first broken by Denver news station KDVR Fox31.


KDVR sports anchor Josina Anderson reportedly spoke with a source close to the situation and was told “…Jarvis went to (Josh) McDaniels and met one-on-one with the coach and said he does not want to do this anymore. He feels he might be done with football and he's thinking about retirement”. (


When asked about Jarvis missing from training camp, Coach McDaniels responded that Moss is going through something “very personal” and that he would respect his privacy.


Moss is a former first round pick of the Broncos, 17th overall, and is entering his third NFL season. Thus far his professional career has been a mix of injuries, inactivity and failure to live up to expectation.


During his rookie season, Moss played in six games before a broken tibia sustained in practice ended his year prematurely. Through those six games, Moss recorded 12 tackles and 1 sack.


Last season he was inactive for four games, but ended up appearing in 12 games, recording 12 tackles and 2.5 sacks. So by the numbers, Moss has played in 18 games, starting zero, in two years, recorded 24 tackles and 3.5 sacks.


Clearly, Moss has not lived up to expectations of a first round pick, especially a player that the team traded up to get. Considering he was brought in to help bolster a pathetic pass rush, he has done very little pass rushing.


In fact, last season he couldn’t get on the field consistently even though the Broncos featured one of the worst defenses in the league. Maybe Coach Shanahan was beginning to see Moss as a bust, just like many of the fans were.


Then things changed. Shanahan was fired and Josh McDaniels was hired to run the team. One of the first things McDaniels did was move Jarvis from defensive end to outside linebacker.


With his size, 6’6" and 265 pounds, Moss could excel as a pass rush specialist. He wouldn’t have to be in the trenches and would be able to use his speed and quickness to try and get to the quarterback. This could be the opportunity for a fresh start that Jarvis needed, but it would be an uphill battle.


The team boasts a deep linebacking corps already having DJ Williams, Wesley Woodyard, Spencer Larsen, and Mario Haggan playing in the rotation. Then they added Andra Davis and Darrell Reid in free agency, drafted Robert Ayers and converted defensive ends Elvis Dumervil and Tim Crowder to outside linebackers.


Counting Moss that would be ten players competing to play four linebacking spots in the newly implemented 3-4 defense. And Jarvis was certainly not high on the depth chart. In fact he was buried behind almost every other player.


DJ Williams and Andra Davis are quality starting linebackers, so they should be ahead of him. Elvis Dumervil has earned his NFL paycheck by being one of the best pass rushers in the league.


Larsen showed a degree of toughness and a hard hitting mentality last year, establishing himself as one of the better backup linebackers. Woodyard came out of nowhere and showed that he can be a very good play making backup.


McDaniels has belief that Reid can be an impact type player in the new defense and Ayers certainly won’t be on the bench for long.


What has Moss done on the field? As already shown, he has not done much, and certainly not more than any of the players listed above him on the depth chart. It was likely that his roster spot was already in jeopardy based on his play alone.


How many linebackers can one roster keep? With the holes this team has, and the depth they need at other positions, they will not keep everyone who is listed as a linebacker.


It was rumored that Moss was being shopped as trade bait during the draft, with the team reportedly seeking a seventh round pick in return. Not exactly a ringing endorsement from the new staff and likely a sign that his future with the Broncos would end quickly.


So after all that, Moss has reportedly decided that he doesn’t want to play football anymore and wants to take his ball and go home. Give up, walk away and forever be labeled as a quitter.


And that is exactly what will happen to him; he’ll be labeled as a quitter and be torn apart in the media and by fans if he goes through with his retirement. I ask how any of us are in any position to judge him.


Moss is a player who has battled injuries during his collegiate and professional careers. Maybe he doesn’t want to be remembered as one of the NFL horror stories and wants to be able to enjoy life without having to have surgeries and joint replacements.


Maybe he realized that he has a higher calling and wants to do something more with his life than play a children’s game. Maybe he just realized that he isn’t cut out for the grind of professional football.


Whatever his reason for contemplating walking away, I am sure that Jarvis can justify it to himself, and that is all he needs to do. He doesn’t owe the fans a single thing. He doesn’t owe the media an explanation or clarification. He simply has to be able to look in the mirror and know that he made the correct decision. 


If he wants to walk away, let him. He likely wouldn’t have made the roster anyways. It disappoints me that Moss would walk away before his potential was realized but I won’t judge him for it. Best of luck to Jarvis Moss in whatever he pursues if his playing days are truly behind him, hopefully he’ll find something that fulfills his life more than football.