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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Titans Claim Moss

Isn't it ironic? Don't you think?

Randy Moss entered the NFL as the 22nd pick of the 1998 draft. Despite his obvious physical gifts, word around the league was that he was too difficult to work with, and would be more detrimental than beneficial as a high draft pick.

Moss went to the Minnesota Vikings, and had arguably the greatest rookie season any wide receiver has ever had in the NFL (69 rec, 1313 yds, 17 tds, 19 ypc).

Fast-forward to 2005, and believe it or not, the character issues had become too much for the Vikings to handle, despite the outstanding production. The honeymoon phase had long ended, and the Vikings were willing to part with Moss for the Oakland Raiders first round pick, and linebacker Napolean Harris.

Two sub-par seasons later, the Raiders were so burned out that they were willing to give Moss to their "Tuck Rule" nemisis, the New England Patriots, for a fourth round pick. Moss was rejuvenated, and set the league record for single-season TD receptions (23).

Three years later, they traded him mid-season for a third round pick.

And here we are, less than one month after that trade and the team that drafted him, traded him, and later traded FOR him again, has released him. The reason: character issues.

After twenty-one teams passed on an opportunity to claim Moss off waivers, the Tennessee Titans have decided to take their chances with the Hall of Fame player and headcase.

So in one sense, its the 1998 NFL draft all over again. Teams lined up worst-to-first, and had to decide whether they could use the talent, and ignore the turmoil. This time, he fell all the way to twenty-two.

Even more irony, the team that picked him up passed on him back in '98 and took another wide receiver, Kevin Dyson. Dyson was far less talented than Moss (18 career TDs to Moss' 153), but was a key player on the '99 Super Bowl losing team.

(Even-even-more-more irony: Dyson caught the potential Super Bowl-winning TD pass from Steve McNair, but was tackled 1-yd short of the goalline on the game's final play. Moss caught the potential Super Bowl-winning TD pass, but was done in by David Tyree's "Helmet Catch", and a late Plaxico Burress TD reception capping the New York Giants improbable. So Moss' lone Super Bowl appearance was usurped by two wide receivers with more character issues than he ever had. Tyree/alcohol, Burress/sweatpants weaponary.)

Moss has responded well in winning situations with strong coaches (translation: Jeff Fisher >>> Brad Childress), so there is a chance that this can work out well for the Titans. Of course, with this being Moss' third team in 26 days, there is also a small chance that this can be an epic failure.

As is usually the case with Randy Moss, you know that you're never gonna know what you're gonna get.

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