News broke Monday that wide receiver Randy Moss would hang up his cleats rather than seek out a new team in free agency. We asked our NFL.com and NFL Network analysts to share their reaction to Moss's retirement after 13 seasons.
- Jason La Canfora NFL Network
Moss revolutionized receiver position
There's no doubt in my mind Randy Moss is a Hall of Famer. He helped revolutionize the receiver position, ushering in a new framework for the type of size and speed needed to be among the elite. He was moody and erratic and a handful, but also had a nose for the endzone like few others, and a skillset that to me made him the best at his craft during the breadth of his time in the league.
<table align="right" width="315px"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <content:static src="/widgets/custom/packages/latest_debates.html"></content:static></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Moss was motivated to play through the lockout, but only for the right team and with the right quarterback. Once the [Jets](/teams/newyorkjets/profile?team=NYJ) went with [Plaxico Burress](/player/plaxicoburress/2504253/profile), the options out there were not to his liking. It's a somewhat enigmatic ending to what was a remarkable yet bizarre career. It had some lows, to be sure, but when he was on, nobody did it better and the numbers and highlight-reel plays speak to that.
- Steve Wyche NFL.com
Retirement not surprising
I'm not surprised at all that Moss retired. He is a competitor and had to be disappointed in how last season went, which probably diminished some of his passion. With a limited amount of suitors, he probably didn't want to bother with the whole process. Though Moss had his issues, he was one of the best receivers of all-time. He was a dynamic deep threat who made quarterbacks look good and defensive backs look terrible. The only way he's not a first-ballot Hall of Famer is if voters are skewed by his off-field behavior and how he treated the media. He deserves to go into Canton, though. And I just have a feeling that we won't see or hear much from Moss until then.
- Rich Eisen NFL Network
Moss, Favre hold hands into Hall?
My first reaction? If everybody stays put, Randy Moss and Brett Favre could go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame together. Of course, Favre is the personification of the word "if" and Moss could easily change his mind, too. But if Moss and Favre do go in together as the HOF class of 2015, this question begs an answer: How many Packers fans would come to Canton to moon both of them?
- Bucky Brooks NFL.com
Time as Patriot most memorable
Randy Moss should be remembered as one of the finest receivers of the modern era. He reintroduced the long ball to the pro game, and there were few receivers capable of dominating in such spectacular fashion. Whether it was the improvised deep routes signaled by a hand waving in the air or the contested jump balls that showcased his athleticism, Moss took center stage whenever he stepped onto the field. His 153 receiving touchdowns were indicative of his remarkable talents, as he still commanded double teams at the latter part of his career. While his game and skill set seemingly declined dramatically during his final season, it is hard to forget how he terrorized the league during his time in Minnesota and New England. His time as a Patriot, in particular, stands out as one of the best three-year runs that any receiver has enjoyed in the NFL, and he cemented his status as a legend with his spectacular single-season performance in 2007. It's a shame his career has abruptly come to a close, but we will certainly celebrate his mark on history with his enshrinement into the Hall of Fame in five years.
- Pat Kirwan NFL.com
Moss could still return
Like him or not, Moss is one of the great receivers of all time. His average yards per catch and total touchdowns make him elite. Personally, I don't think he's done for 2011. Come October or November, if a playoff team loses its top one or two receivers to injury, he will take the call. It was probably hard for him to see Ochocinco on TV as a Patriot and Plaxico Burress get a guaranteed $3-million contract. If Moss is eventually judged on his production, he will get in the Hall of Fame on the first or second try; if other things creep into the evaluation, he may wait.
- Charles Davis NFL Network
Moss brought fear factor
It's not a surprise Moss retired. After watching him last year with three different teams, it didn't appear he had much left in the tank. But with Moss, even I had to hesitate and analyze where his game was at because he made a living of going full speed at times of his choosing. What is that he couldn't run the same way last season or was he just not going full speed? In any event, he was a receiver that defenses absolutely feared and he was the cornerstone of two of the most-prolific offenses in NFL history (Vikings in 1998 and 2007 Patriots).
Is Moss a Hall of Famer? In my book, yes, due to his production and what he forced defenses to do to try and stop him. Some voters might mash their teeth because Moss was not Jerry Rice in terms of work ethic, but every player does not do it the same way.
- Dave Dameshek NFL.com
Moss in select company
Bad teammate, bad person, but one of the three or four best wide receivers ever. I don't count Don Hutson (something my man Adam Rank and I regularly debate on the Dave Dameshek Football Progam ) because he played well before the 1958 NFL Championship Game. It's the so-called "Greatest Game Ever Played" precisely because it brought the sport to relevance. By definition, then, nothing that preceded it matters ... but I digress.
Moss deserves to be regarded as a disappointment in the sense that he could've been better. However, aside from Jerry Rice, who belongs ahead of him on the all-time list? Go ahead, think about it. T.O.? Michael Irvin? Maybe, but there are very few guys who come anywhere close to Moss statistically or otherwise. One thing's for sure: The moon is at half-mast (or half-assed?) today.
- Adam Rank NFL.com
What could have been
Moss will be remembered for burning the Cowboys on Thanksgiving as a rookie, his disastrous tenure with the Raiders and his sad ending to his NFL career being bounced around to three different teams before ultimately retiring. And that's the snapshot I will always remember, untapped potential. Moss could have been the best if he had the work ethic of Michael Irvin. Instead, we will ponder what could have been.