Randy Moss: 7 Teams That Surprisingly Passed on the Embattled Receiver
On November 3, Randy Moss was claimed by the Tennessee Titans. Since waiver priority is established by reverse order in the standings, this means that the Titans, a team with a 5-3 record, were 20th on the line of NFL teams to claim the star wideout.
Why did 19 teams pass on the star wide receiver? Why did the Titans take a chance on him?
Moss has had an embattled season. Rumors of conflict with Tom Brady and calling him a "girl" led to one of the more surprising exits seen this year when Moss was traded to the Vikings for a third-round draft choice in 2011.
Fast forward to four weeks later.
After this weekend, in an even more surprising move, Vikings coach Brad Childress announced to the team that Moss had been released and put on waivers.
Forgetting Moss's previous tumultuous terms with previous teams, the Titans now have one of the best receivers in football, a fact particularly important if Vince Young continues to play on a hobbled ankle.
Additionally, with Kenny Britt, the Titans' leading receiver in both yards and touchdowns sidelined for at least two weeks, the Titans are in even greater need of a wideout opposite Nate Washington.
Here are seven teams who surprisingly would not take a chance on Randy Moss.
The San Diego Chargers
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At 3-5, the Chargers had one of the best opportunities to land Randy Moss. As the No. 10 team in waiver priority, San Diego was one of a few teams with good enough records, yet high enough waiver priority to snag Moss.
The Chargers have the best passing game in football. Philip Rivers is on pace to pass for more than 5,000 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Yet, aside from Antonio Gates, the Chargers really lack a superstar wide receiver. Malcolm Floyd is barely on pace to eclipse 1,000 yards, despite Rivers's amazing season. Moss would give the Chargers that extra edge to not only win some of the close games that have slipped away, but to blowout teams with a dynamic offense similar to the Patriots over the past couple seasons.
Norv Turner passed on Moss most likely because of the imminent return of Vincent Jackson. However, clearly the Chargers have the tolerance for one trouble-making wide receiver.
Why not two?
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The Cardinals were listed at 11th in waiver priority to get Moss. At 3-4, the Cardinals would normally be facing a large uphill battle to make the playoffs; however, this is not the case.
Because Arizona plays in the NFC West, indisputably the worst division in football, the Cardinals sit just a game back of the division leading Seattle Seahawks. With three of the next five games coming against division opponents and a cakewalk remaining schedule featuring the Cowboys, Carolina, Denver and Minnesota, the Cardinals actually have an open path to make the postseason this year.
The problem, foreseen by the release of Matt Leinart before Week 1, is and has always been the passing game. Certainly, Ken Whisenhunt and Larry Fitzgerald miss Kurt Warner tossing passes from the pocket.
Max Hall and Derek Anderson have combined for just 167.6 passing yards per game this season, leading the Cardinals to the 30th ranked passing game. Consequently, Larry Fitzgerald is on pace to gain less than 1,000 yards receiving for the first time in four years.
Moss not only would have helped the Cardinals out in the passing game, he would have also been the edge to push Arizona into the playoffs this year.
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Sitting at .500, the Washington Redskins held the 12th spot in waiver order. After the controversy surrounding Donovan McNabb's benching, perhaps it was a good idea to avoid Moss and the media spotlight that comes with him.
Still, the Redskins are in need of a spark after a bad loss this past week against the Detroit Lions.
While Washington's passing game could be considered decent this season and Donovan McNabb can't be classified as a disappointment since he is on pace to total almost 4,000 yards this season, the Redskins have really lacked a second wide receiver after Santana Moss this season.
Aside from Santana Moss, the next best wide receiver, Anthony Armstrong, has averaged just over two catches a game. Chris Cooley has been an excellent supplement from the tight end position, but it is simply not enough.
The Redskins would have been wise to acquire Moss and have twin Mosses working down the field for Donovan McNabb.
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The Jaguars sit at the bottom of the AFC South; however, they are not out of the playoff chase. While the division will most likely go to the Indianapolis Colts, the Jaguars, despite a horrific defense and awful passing game, are still in the chase for a wild-card spot.
At 4-4, Jacksonville held the 15th position in waiver priority. A .500 record is misleading as the Jaguars have been outscored by 61 points this season and have lost four games by an average of just under 25 points.
While the running game behind Maurice Jones-Drew has been strong, the passing game has been anemic at just 181.4 yards per game, good for 28th in the league.
Some of this can be attributed to Todd Bouman. A lot of the blame, however, must fall to the Jaguars wide receivers. Neither of the starting wide receivers, Mike Sims-Walker or Mike Thomas, is on pace to exceed 800 yards receiving this year.
Moss, if inserted into this Jaguars lineup, would have been a true number one receiver. As it is, the Jags will have to hope that their luck continues against a second half schedule that features the Giants, the Colts, Tennessee, Washington and Houston twice.
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The Seahawks were one team rumored to have serious interest in Moss. With a 4-3 record, Pete Carroll's team did have a shot at the former Viking, but decided to pass.
The Seahawks offense, both passing and on the ground, could best be described as stagnant this year. The offense has average just 275 total yards this season. Although they lead the aforementioned awful NFC West, Seattle has actually been outscored by 17 points this season including a 33-3 shellacking in Oakland last week.
While much is needed on this Seahawks team, a star wide receiver would have been a good place to start. Mike Williams, the team's leading receiver, has just 375 yards and one touchdown this season, and the second best wide receiver, Deon Butler, has just 175 yards on the year.
In such a poor division, the Seahawks still have a great chance at the playoffs this year. Randy Moss would have given them a major advantage over the Cardinals and Rams, though.
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The Dolphins are one of the more interesting teams in the NFL this season. Miami is 4-0 on the road and 0-3 at home. Nevertheless, Miami remains in competition for both the AFC East and an AFC wild-card playoff spot this year.
Two spots before the Tennessee Titans in waiver priority, the Dolphins had a chance to land Moss but declined.
The Dolphins didn't exactly need Moss. Brandon Marshall has lived up to expectations as a true number one wide receiver, and Davone Bess and Brian Hartline have been able complements in the passing game.
But who ever said it was a problem to have too much talent?
Moss has a home in South Florida. Miami is a good team, but not a great one. It would have been interesting to see Moss back in the AFC East this year, but eventually Tony Sparano decided that Moss was not a "Bill Parcels" type guy.
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At waiver priority 19, the Bears had an opportunity to snag Moss immediately before the Titans did; however, Moss was not in Chicago's plans.
The Bears are another team who could have used Moss to improve the passing game. Jay Cutler has been about average this season and the Bears passing game ranks 19th in the league with just over 200 yards per game.
Surprisingly, Johnny Knox has stepped up as a number one receiver and is on pace for more than 1,000 yards this season. Still, Matt Forte has been the de facto number two receiver out of the backfield, and Chicago could really use a second receiving threat.
Randy Moss's ability to create separation and win jump balls could have also have a positive impact on Jay Cutler's tendency to throw interceptions. Alas, the Bears passed on Moss and will have to face a tough schedule with the current roster in the second half of the season.
Justin Eisenband is a Miami Heat Featured Columnist and intern at the Bleacher Report. To read more articles visit his profile at http://bleacherreport.com/users/352849-justin-eisenband