- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Minnesota Vikings have decided to waive talented and controversial receiver Randy Moss, a surprising move . Moss and his prorated $6.4 million salary are available for the team that wants to claim him.
Would a team in the AFC North jump at the chance to land this future Hall of Fame receiver? Don't hold your breath.
Here is a look at each team's receiver position:
Cleveland Browns: Strictly from a talent standpoint, the Browns are the division team that can use Moss the most. The Browns have the NFL's worst receiving corps; it lacks experience and talent. But when you factor in the money involved, Cleveland's 2-5 record, and the huge distraction Moss could cause, it's not worth the risk. If Moss wasn’t happy in Minnesota, he definitely wouldn't be happy in Cleveland. The Browns have less talent and no proven quarterback. Moss played with quarterbacks Tom Brady and Brett Favre this season. Do you really think he would give his best effort for Seneca Wallace or Colt McCoy? I don't see it.
Cincinnati Bengals: As the last-place team in the AFC North, the Bengals have the first waiver claim in the division. Although the trio of Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss would generate a buzz, the Bengals are already out of the playoff hunt. At 2-5, Cincinnati would have to go 8-1 in its last nine games to have a legit shot at the playoffs in a deep AFC. That's not happening. Plus, the Bengals are unlikely to pay Moss' high salary.
Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens believe in the right player for the right price, and the going rate for Moss is too high for Baltimore. The Ravens made a run on veteran receivers this offseason by acquiring Anquan Boldin, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Donte' Stallworth. But I don't see Baltimore making another big-name acquisition this late in the season. There aren't enough balls to go around in Baltimore as it is. The team is off to a 5-2 start and is a Super Bowl contender without Moss. There's no need to disrupt that chemistry.
Pittsburgh Steelers: This is the least likely AFC North team to put a waiver claim on Moss. Receiver is not a position of need and Moss doesn't fit the culture in Pittsburgh. The Steelers rarely make big-money moves during the season, and this would be completely out of character. There is virtually no chance of this happening.
Overall, don't expect Moss to land in the AFC North. The contenders in the division don't need him, and the cost and risks aren't worth it for the two Ohio teams.