|New England apparently won't be in Moss' future. (Getty Images)|
By Ryan Wilson
Randy Moss reintroduced himself to the public last week when he took to UStream to talk about everything from his NFL return to pro wrestling to his three piranha (one's named Gargamel because he's mean). Naturally, the media (us included) ran with it, speculating on where he might end up in 2012.
The list includes the obvious choices -- the Patriots, Redskins, 49ers, Jets and Eagles -- as well as the not-so-obvious: the IFL's Chicago Slaughter. (We talked about all this on a recent Pick-6 Podcast, conveniently embedded below.)
But Moss also had his detractors. Cris Carter reminded everyone that his former teammate was a quitter, and the Cowboys preemptively indicated that they'd pass on his services.
In Sunday's Boston Globe, Shalise Manza Young reiterated what some people already suspected: a Pats-Moss reunion isn't in the offing.
"Moss seems realistic about his chances, acknowledging that he may not play anywhere in 2012," Young wrote. "As for a possible Patriots reunion, the feeling here is that that ship has sailed."
If the Patriots were to pursue a veteran it would be someone like Reggie Wayne (we've been beating this drum for months now), especially given how poor a fit Chad Ochocinco turned out to be. If, instead, New England is looking for a young playmaker at the position, they could use their bottomless supply of draft picks to trade up and grab Justin Blackmon, Kendall Wright or Michael Floyd. Or as CBSSports.com's Pat Kirwan suggests, they could make a play for Steelers restricted free agent Mike Wallace. It would only cost them the 31st overall pick, and Wallace, unlike the would-be rookies, is already one of the league's best young wideouts.
As for Moss, we still think he's a more viable option than Terrell Owens. This falls firmly under the heading of "the soft bigotry of low expectations," but we're also talking about two guys in their mid-30s who last played in the NFL in 2010. And unlike T.O., who had a nasty habit of burning bridges, Moss was generally well regarded in Tennessee, his last stop before retirement.
He was great," one team official told NFL Network's Albert Breer earlier this week. "He was a great personality, he brought an energy to practice. He was constantly talking, but it was all in a competitive way, not a negative way.
"As a player, he's never been a great practice player, but there were no issues. The problem was in games, he'd lose interest, he'd dog it sometimes. ... He gets frustrated with double teams; when he gets bracketed, he'll shut it down, and that causes a problem for you. But as a guy, he was good here."
And that's the rub. Are there teams willing to gamble on a guy who they know will "shut it down" in exchange for the occasional big-play payoff? Given the glut of wide receivers about to flood free agency, there may not be much of a market for Moss. Then again, there aren't many people capable of doing what Moss did regularly during his career.
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