Would anyone want Randy Moss?

February, 13, 2012
2/13/12
12:34
PM ET
Yeah, I saw the story that Randy Moss wants to come out of retirement and play in the NFL again in 2012. And yeah, it's the offseason, so my first reaction was to do a post about whether he'd make sense for any of the teams in the NFC East. I'm not proud. It's content. It's a big name. It hits all four teams. And hey, you're reading it.

Moss
Moss
However, before we go any further, I must make one thing clear: I do not believe Randy Moss will ever play in the NFL again. The guy washed out with three different teams in 2010, couldn't find a job in 2011 and now, at the age of 35 and in a free-agent market flooded with good wide receivers in their primes, he thinks a team is going to take a chance on him? Agree to disagree, Randy. Agree to disagree.

That said, I have (as many of you are fond of pointing out) been wrong before. And so, if by some chance Moss can prove he still has enough speed to be a legitimate deep threat -- to get separation from defensive backs and perform as a difference-making downfield option for an offense, as he could not do in 2010 for three different teams -- would he make any sense in our division? My team-by-team ultra-fantastical hypothetical answers follow.

Dallas Cowboys: No. Not even a little. The Cowboys need a No. 3, first of all, and that's only if they let Laurent Robinson walk. If Dez Bryant and Miles Austin are healthy, Moss is an upgrade over neither one. And do you really want him around Bryant? No.

New York Giants: No. Not even a little. Go back and read the Cowboys answer and replace "Laurent Robinson" with "Mario Manningham" and replace "Dez Bryant and Miles Austin" with "Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz." No. Not a Giants kind of thing to do, this.

Philadelphia Eagles: Interesting, but only if they decide to move on from DeSean Jackson, as I believe they might. If Moss shows the deep-threat ability that made him such a weapon with Minnesota and New England at various points in his career, and if Jackson is out of the picture, the must-win-now-or-everyone's-getting-fired Eagles wouldn't be a ridiculous landing spot. Again, lot of "if"s, but don't be surprised to see this connection made again if Jackson isn't back.

Washington Redskins: The 2007-09 version of Moss is exactly what the Redskins need. But (a) this is the 2012 version, and (b) Moss doesn't respond well to being in losing environments. Even if he could flash that 07-09 form, the Redskins would have to be a lot more set at quarterback and offensive line than they are right now. And the quarterback would have to be a veteran like Peyton Manning or Kyle Orton and not a rookie or first-time starter like Robert Griffin III or Matt Flynn.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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