Randy Moss wants back into the NFL, announcing online Monday -- his 35th birthday -- that his one-season retirement was really a sabbatical.
The timing puts him back on the radar just as teams have started formulating their draft and free-agency boards. Nice touch, injecting himself back into the consciousness of the NFL right as teams are figuring out whether they need rookie or veteran help at wideout.
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Joel Segal, Moss' agent, said teams have already called to gather preliminary information about Moss following his declaration. The teams mainly wanted to know what type of shape Moss is in, Segal said, adding that this is something that's yet to be determined. The agent said no plans have been formulated regarding Moss' path back to the NFL.
In my estimation, though, the number of interested teams will likely be small. The Patriots will be mentioned as a potential front-runner, but they had a chance to re-sign Moss last season and passed. After seeing the Jets struggles with aging wideouts Plaxico Burress (34) and Derrick Mason (38), teams will avoid adding Moss to an aging receiving corps.
Burress' up-and-down season also will be the gauge some teams will use to project Moss' impact after being off the field for a season. Burress and Moss are different types of players, but you'll hear the comparison over and over in simple analysis of an older receiver trying to get back into the NFL.
With Moss' temperamental ways, teams with young quarterbacks like Jacksonville and Carolina -- both of which could use a receiver with Moss' (former) skill set -- likely will stay away. Yet, some people in the NFL feel he will get a shot, most likely with a playoff team.
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If I'm the Houston Texans, I'd consider it, especially with the lack of explosiveness on the perimeter after Andre Johnson. The Texans were a different offense when Johnson was out with hamstring injuries last season. With Moss available, he'd be a complement -- by reputation alone -- to ease Johnson's load if they were on the field together. He'd also add depth if Johnson were sidelined again.
Although the Texans are a young team, they have some veterans and strong-minded upstarts who would either step on Moss or go to coach Gary Kubiak if they felt Moss was a problem. The Texans are on the verge of something special and Moss could be a difference-maker, but he also could be someone they'd prefer not to inject into the special vat of chemistry they've assembled.
The well of talented free-agent wide receivers also won't help Moss's cause. To name a few: Vincent Jackson, DeSean Jackson, Marques Colston, Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, Dwayne Bowe, Stevie Johnson and even Cowboys breakout Laurent Robinson. Most of those players will cost a lot more than Moss, a reality Moss is going to have to deal with if he wants back in.
Moss might have to show teams that he can still run, but if he does come back, I doubt Moss will be willing to go through a series of tryouts or have a Pro Day. More than likely, he will join a team on a non-guaranteed deal with some nice (straight cash) incentives.