NFL Free Agency: Was Signing Chad Ochocinco Last Straw for Randy Moss?

Mike IorfinoContributor IIIAugust 1, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 14: Randy Moss #81 of the New England Patriots celeberates after scoring a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game on December 14, 2008 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Less than three weeks ago, Randy Moss' agent, Joel Segal, told's Jason La Confora that Moss was in "freakish shape" and was ready to bounce back after a disappointing 2010 season, in which the future Hall of Fame wide receiver was traded twice and recorded just 28 receptions in 16 games. 

However, earlier today ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Moss has decided to retire after playing 13 seasons in the NFL. 

Here is what Segal told Schefter: "After weighing his options and contemplating offers, he's [Moss] decided to retire."

Despite the suddenness of Moss' decision, it's easy to see why the 34-year-old receiver decided to call it quits. 

Since he was waived by the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 2, 2010, Moss has drawn little interest from teams around the NFL. According to ESPN's John Clayton, Tennessee was the only team to submit a claim for Moss when he was on the waiver wire, and his less-than-stellar performance with the Titans in 2010—in which he caught just six passes in eight games—only lessened the likelihood of a team taking a chance on him in the offseason.

To make things worse, Moss listed just three teams that he would be willing to play for in an interview with KFAN 1130-AM in Minnesota on March 16, 2011: the New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns and Seattle Seahawks.  

Unfortunately for him, neither the Browns nor Seahawks were interested in acquiring his services—at least for the price he was willing to sign for.

Thus, everything came down to his preferred destination—New England. 

During the offseason, Moss constantly voiced his aspirations of playing for Bill Belichick and the Patriots, telling KFAN 1130-AM that he is the happiest when is playing with Tom Brady

However, early reports indicated the Patriots weren't interested in retaining Moss, despite their drop-off in offensive production in 2010 without him. In Moss' three years in New England, the Patriots averaged 391 yards per game (that includes the 2008 season with Matt Cassel at quarterback), compared to New England's average of 363 yards per game in 2010. 

Despite all of this, there was still some speculation that Moss would return to the Patriots on a short-term deal. 

Well, at least, until New England traded for Chad Ochocinco on July 29.

Once the Patriots acquired the 33-year-old Ochocinco, all the rumors of Moss heading to the Patriots were put to an end. 

As did Moss' desire to play football.

In the coming weeks, and even months, there will be plenty of speculation about whether Moss will pull a Brett Favre and return to the NFL (see Favre 2008, 2009 and, most likely, 2010). But, unless the Patriots offer Moss a deal that he can't resist, I don't think we will see him suit up in a NFL uniform again. 

With that said, Moss retires as one of the greatest wide receivers of all time and surely will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

The four-time All-Pro ranks second all time in receiving touchdowns (153), fifth all time in receiving yards (14,858) and eighth all time in receptions (954).