Monday, November 1, 2010
Why the Rams should claim Randy Moss
By Mike Sando
The St. Louis Rams are 4-4 heading into their bye week, but they've got issues at wide receiver.
Donnie Avery, Mark Clayton and Dominique Curry are on injured reserve. Danario Alexander just underwent knee surgery. Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson are doing their best to pick up the slack, but the Rams are dangerously thin at the position.
Should they claim Randy Moss off waivers from the Minnesota Vikings, who planned to release him Monday?
Yes, they should.
Coach Steve Spagnuolo spent his first season on the job targeting low-risk, high-character types. This was the right move as the Rams remade their roster. The team now has enough leadership in place, including at quarterback, to consider taking some chances on higher-risk, high-reward players.
Moss fits the profile and his addition would instantly make the Rams a stronger player in the NFC West race. Sam Bradford badly needs a target with Moss' credentials. Even if the experiment produced underwhelming results, the Rams would be making only an eight-game investment. They wouldn't be messing with their long-term future. They could release Moss after one day or one week or anytime if things weren't working out.
Take a look around the NFC West. The Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers had trouble stopping long pass plays Sunday. Bradford-to-Moss is a combination the Rams' division opponents wouldn't want to face.
With Bradford under center, the Rams instantly salvaged Clayton's career, turning him into a relatively prolific receiver with big-play potential (Clayton still ranks among the NFL leaders in receptions covering at least 30 yards). The Rams' scheme benefited Clayton, for sure, and Clayton gets credit, too. He's a smart, conscientious player and a student of the game. Moss also knows the game well. He comes with baggage, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
The Rams have worked hard to sell out home games. Making a play for Moss would show they're not settling for the status quo. The Rams considered signing Terrell Owens before the season. They should strongly consider claiming Moss and then waiting to see whether their claim holds up against any from teams with higher priority.
Note: I'm singling out the Rams as the prime candidate among NFC West teams, but if you think another team in the division should add him, by all means state your case.