I guess playing for three teams in one season was the final straw for Randy Moss. Always unpredictable, on the field and off it with some of his choices, for good and bad, Randy Moss shocked everyone, amid all the free agent signings and trading frenzy, announcing his retirement from football.
It was only two weeks ago when his agent, Joel Segal, described Moss as being in “Freakish Shape” after spending the summer practicing in West Virginia. “He’s not just coming to be on a team, he’s coming to be Randy Moss – a Difference Maker.”
Moss had the lowest numbers of his career in 2010, spending the season with the Patriots, Vikings and Titans. He caught only 28 passes, scoring 5 touchdowns. That was a huge drop who is 8th in Receptions (954), 5th in receiving yards (14,858) and second in receiving touchdowns (153) on the NFL’s all-time lists. Still, despite the impressive numbers, there were plenty of misses in Randy Moss’ 13 seasons in Pro Football.
A 7 time Pro-Bowler and a 5 time All-Pro selection, Moss exploded on to the scene in 1998 with a phenomenal rookie year with the Vikings. During his tenure in Minnesota, he led the league in receiving touchdowns three times, including his rookie year. It didn’t help in the playoffs. Moss made the playoffs four times during his Vikings era, losing twice in the NFC Championship game. After the 2004 season which was (then) a career low for Moss because of injuries and his relationship with the front office, he got traded to Oakland. You can guess how happy he was over there.
Then came 2007. Moss got a lifeline from the Patriots, and responded with a career season, maybe the best ever, statistically, by a reciever in the NFL. He caught 23 touchdown passes and finished with 1493 yards. The Patriots finishes the season 16-0, but fell against the Giants in the Super Bowl, Moss’ only visit to the biggest game of all. His production in 2008-2009 for New England was fantastic, catching 24 touchdowns and going for over 1,000 yards in each of them. Last year, at 33, the end started creeping on Moss. Age does that to you, and it’s hard to accept.
Randy Moss made incredible plays during his career, and during his prime, which was not too long ago, needed double or triple coverage to be stops. Those never ending arms, the speed, the presence, the awareness. Moss doesn’t always strike you as the smartest of people – mooning fans, his Marshall plane crash remarks and other incidents… But his on field intelligence wasn’t lacking. He did lack effort, when he wasn’t happy, and that happened too much between 2003-2007. Too much time, games, touchdowns and highlights he and us missed.
Randy Moss is one of the greatest receivers in NFL history. Maybe the most gifted, athletically, ever. It wasn’t enough to make his satisfied on quite a few occasions. And it leaves us wondering how good he could have been and to mark his hugely successful career with spots of question marks and unfulfilled goals and potential.