NFL Free Agency: Why Randy Moss Should Be Avoided by the St. Louis Rams
In some ways it makes sense.
Moss thrived in current offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' offense in New England, posting a 1,400-yard, 23-touchdown season in 2007 and a 1,000-yard, 11-touchdown season in 2008.
There also is the thought that he has to have something, regardless of how little, left in the tank. A player with Moss' type of talent doesn't just drop off the face of the Earth overnight. Sure, it would be understandable if he declined slowly, but to go from 1,000-plus receiving yards one season to bouncing around from team to team, failing to make any sort of impact, is unheard of.
Regardless, the Rams would be smart to avoid making a play for the aging receiver.
Why? Well, let's take a look at the downside of a Moss signing.
1. He Won't Come Cheap
Moss' name alone will warrant a larger one-year contract. He won't be getting anything ridiculous such as $10 million, but he will receive a contract worth more than his productivity.
The receiver also made it clear this offseason that he desires returning to New England next season. If the Patriots show even the slightest interest, it is probably going to take even more cash to sway Moss.
The Rams are a team with plenty of holes. They need a backup RB, a safety or two, an outside linebacker, a right guard, a cornerback and a couple more players here and there.
They can't afford to spend the money Moss will cost on a position where they already have a copious number of players.
2. He Has Serious Character Concerns
When Moss returned to Minnesota in 2010, it was supposed to be a glorious story.
Teamed up with Brett Favre, Moss would return to the form he had been struggling to find in New England.
Moss may have returned to Minnesota, but his return was so brief that in a few years most people won't be able to recall how he performed at all (13 catches, 174 yards, two touchdowns in four games).
What they will remember, though, is how quickly he ran himself out of town via his off-field antics. In just four weeks Moss attempted to get head coach Brad Childress fired, berated the owner of a restaurant that catered the team's food and got himself waived.
There is a chance Moss would respond positively to the Rams' coaching staff and players, but it's too high of a risk considering how young and impressionable of a locker room situation the Rams have.
The last thing QB Sam Bradford needs is a receiver complaining about not getting the ball enough or questioning his abilities. Maybe five to six years down the road a signing similar to this could work, but as of now it is just too risky.
3. The Feeling of Obligation to Play Him Would Exist
Sure, every coach with a pulse would prefer to have too many receivers than not enough, but this is different.
The Rams enter the season with the following receivers: Mark Clayton, Donnie Avery, Danny Amendola, Danario Alexander, Mardy Gilyard, Greg Salas, Austin Pettis, Brandon Gibson, Dominique Curry and Brandon McRae.
A large majority of those players are young, up-and-coming receivers who playing time will be incredibly valuable for.
With Moss on the team, some of those players' game experience would take a large hit (most likely Danario Alexander and Greg Salas), which would have the potential to harm the Rams in the immediate future. Rams fans saw what it's like when inexperienced players play in games of high magnitude in last season's finale in Seattle.
As long as Moss is on the team, regardless of how he plays, Steve Spagnuolo and Josh McDaniels would most likely feel obligated to play him simply because it is Randy Moss. I'm sure the Rams, like many teams before them, would rid themselves of Moss if the production was consistently mediocre. However as long as he was in a Ram uniform, he'd be starting and taking away valuable experience from a young player that is part of the Rams' extended future.
4. There Are Much Better Free Agent Receivers
If the Rams do decide they want to pay a few million dollars for a receiver, they can do much better than Moss.
Sidney Rice, Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd, James Jones, Mike Sims-Walker, Steve Smith and Braylon Edwards are some of the many free-agent names that have more upside at this point than Moss.
Really, the only way Moss has the upper hand on any of these players is the fact that he has played in McDaniels' offense before.
5. He Doesn't Fit the Youth Movement
Typically during youth movements, there are two types of players you have on your roster:
1) Young guys with loads of potential that all have a role in the team's extended future.
2) Older veterans brought in to mentor the young guys.
Moss wouldn't provide much of a mentor role, and at age 34 there is zero chance he would be included in the team's long-term plans.
Chances are the Rams aren't going to win the Super Bowl next season, but three to four years down the road it could turn out to be a serious possibility. Moss won't be around then, his impact will no longer be felt and his time as a Ram will only be recalled as a pit stop when reviewing his long and peculiar career.
As asinine as it sounds, Moss just doesn't belong in St. Louis.