What precedent says about Randy Moss

March, 21, 2012
3/21/12
11:52
AM ET
The San Francisco 49ers cannot be sure what they'll get from Randy Moss in 2012.

Expectations are naturally low after Moss, 35, produced sparingly for three teams in 2010 before sitting out the 2011 season.

But what does history tell us?

With an assist from Pro Football Reference, I've put together a list of 20 productive seasons from receivers age 35 or older, ranked by most receiving yardage.

Jerry Rice was 35 when he suffered a career-threatening knee injury early in the 1997 season. He returned to catch 82 passes for 1,157 yards and nine touchdowns the following season.

Rice shows up on the chart three times, most recently in 2002, when he had 92 receptions for 1,211 yards at age 40.

Rice is a special case, obviously. He was also less dependent than Moss on raw speed, which tends to be fleeting as players get older.

The odds are stacked against Moss, but other 35-and-up receivers have occasionally produced at a high level.

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