According to this story by NFL.com, Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress told his team this morning that Randy Moss, who did not fly back to Minnesota with his team after losing to his old team, has been released from the Vikings. In yesterday's game, Moss caught only one pass for 8 yards, and caused a stir afterward with a press conference in which he announced he would not talk to the media anymore.
So there it is guys. I am not going to be one of those guys that says we absolutely need Randy Moss, or even suggest that it is the slightest bit likely the Steelers might pick him up. I'm just the bored guy that isn't in the mood for doing homework right now. So let's evaluate together how useful he would be at this stage for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The stage of his career
I think we can all agree: Randy Moss is not the player he was in 2007, when he set an NFL record for TD catches in a season with 23. That said, Moss still put up impressive numbers with the Patriots last season, catching 83 passes for 1,264 yards (a 15,6 average) and 13 TDs. He had similar numbers in 2008 when Tom Brady was injured and Matt Cassel was New England's quarterback. This year, he has been less productive: in four games for the Vikings, he only caught 13 passes for 174 yards and 2 TD, an average of 13.4. Keep in mind though that this was after he joined a new team mid-week, and that overall he has already caught 5 TDs. What remains is a 6-4 tall, 33 year old receiver that can still spread the field decently, and has hands that can rival the best of them. Not bad from a skill-perspective. Good enough to make the Steelers significantly better?
His leadership and locker room presence
To make it short, it's been questionable throughout his career, and yesterday's controversial press conference was only further proof of that. As a matter of fact, his behavior has been the main reason why one of the statistically best receivers in the history of this league has not found a permanent home at any team. Even the Patriots with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, who had been said to be able to control Moss, did not ultimately succeed and had to trade him away. Now comes his latest escapade, telling the media he would not talk to them anymore for the rest of the season after being fined $25,000 for that exact reason. He's a diva, no doubt. At the same time, the Pittsburgh locker room has been known for its leadership. Could veterans like Hines Ward or James Farrior keep Moss under wraps to help him win that ever-elusive super bowl ring? What do you think?
So do the Steelers need him?
This is the million-dollar question. After trading Santonio Holmes for a 5th rounder this off-season, many on this site have been skeptical about our WR corps. swissvale72 even went so far as reasoning why trading Holmes was the worst Front Office move in Steelers history. Even aside from that, there is one thing Ben has missed since Plaxico Burress made a stop in New York on his way to jail: a tall target in the red-zone. I don't need to tell you about Limas Sweed, who has been disappointing (and injured) to be polite so far. Moss would fix that problem instantly; but would he be worth it? The Steelers drafted two young wide receivers this year, and both have already contributed with big kick returns. Additionally, I am one of many that the loss of Holmes will provide the opportunity for 2nd year pro Mike Wallace to step up and become a contributing starter or even a star. Acquiring Moss could hold back the development of our young WR corps. So would adding a yet another WR at the latter stage of his career (sorry Hines and ARE) really be a great idea?
So there it is. For your information, NFL Network just reported that Miami and Seattle have been knocking on his doorstep already. Looks like this post will be superfluous sooner than I thought, but it was fun while it lasted. Don't bash me too much for bringing this up, I am trying to make myself not think about yesterday's loss to... damn, there it is again. So let me know what you think! Would you even be willing to consider the idea of Moss in black & gold?