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Monday, May 9, 2011
Whether Randy Moss remains relevant

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

OK, so the St. Louis Rams do not have a true No. 1 wide receiver.

What about Randy Moss? Glad I asked.

Moss played for the Rams' new offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, when both were with the New England Patriots. The Rams thought about claiming Moss off waivers last season, a move I thought would have carried more upside than risk.

Moss' value has only diminished since then. But with McDaniels in St. Louis, there's a connection that did not exist previously. It's tough working up much momentum making the case for or against Moss at this stage. He caught 28 passes for three teams last season and turned 34 in February. His contract ran through 2010. Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt said Tennessee plans to move forward with younger players at the position.

My sense is that the Rams are likewise headed in a different direction with younger players, and Moss' upside wouldn't be large enough to entice them at this point. But until the team's receiving situation gains clearer definition at the top, the Rams have to keep an open mind. Moss has ties to McDaniels. Plaxico Burress has ties to coach Steve Spagnuolo. It's conceivable Sidney Rice could become a free agent.

Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. discussed Moss during his Football Today podcast Monday. He passed along these thoughts to me separately:
"Moss is a very tough evaluation for me. He really is/was just a one-trick pony: deep threat. Outside the numbers. Bombs away. But it is/was a tremendous trick! And he might be the best who ever lived at that trick. But if he can't get deep any more, he isn't real useful. I don't think we know the answer to that, though, based off his terrible stints in Minnesota and then Tennessee. I tend to guess he no longer can do that, or the Patriots and then the Vikings would not have given up on him so easily.

"As for adding him to that Rams' locker room, you are closer to that situation than I am, but it seems to me that it wouldn't be such a hot idea. Does Moss make the Rams a Super Bowl contender this season? I don't think so."

To my knowledge, Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo hasn't fielded a question about Moss since answering one during the scouting combine back in February, shortly after McDaniels' hiring.

"We haven't really gotten into it that deeply on receivers," Spagnuolo told reporters then. "It's really more about the scheme and focusing on our offensive staff and what we are going to do. I don't know that we are that deep into that. We have to kind of see where it goes. Certainly, him (McDaniels) having first-hand knowledge of a player, any player, is going to be helpful. And anybody that has been in his system becomes a little more attractive."