Randy Moss a great catch ... or a drop?

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
12:01
AM ET

Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images
Randy Moss will play in the NFL for the first time since 2010, the worst season of his career, after agreeing to a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
The San Francisco 49ers have agreed to a one-year deal with six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Randy Moss.

Moss has always been known as a deep threat -- his 29 career touchdowns of at least 50 yards are the second-most in NFL history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau (Jerry Rice is first with 36).

Despite having the fourth-best completion percentage on throws more than 20 yards downfield, only three teams attempted fewer such passes than the Niners did last season.

Are Moss’ days as a true deep threat behind him?

Over the past four seasons, he’s caught just 22.7 percent of the passes thrown to him more than 20 yards downfield.

Among players with more than 35 such targets (top 60), only four players have a lower catch-to-target percentage than Moss and nobody has more drops on such throws.

San Francisco hasn't had a 1,000-yard receiver since Terrell Owens in 2003. Elias tells us that's the second-longest active drought in the NFL -- the Chicago Bears last had a 1,000-yard receiver in 2002. Moss has gone over 1,000 yards in 10 of his 13 NFL seasons.

Moss is in the top five in NFL history in receiving yards (fifth with 14,858), receiving touchdowns (tied for second with 153) and 100-yard receiving games (second with 64, according to the Elias Sports Bureau). Moss, Rice and Owens are the only players to rank in the top five in each of those categories and the 49ers have now employed them all.

Moss was the 1998 Offensive Rookie of the Year and has been a first-team All-Pro four times in his career. His 154 total touchdowns are the fifth-most in NFL history -- he’s just two behind Owens for fourth and five behind LaDainian Tomlinson for third.

Among the 24 players with at least 800 career receptions, Moss’ average of 15.6 yards per reception is the third-highest, behind only Henry Ellard and Steve Largent.

Moss struggled in 2010, finishing with career lows in receptions and receiving yards and was traded and cut within the span of a month. He had five games without a reception that season, more than the rest of his career combined.

According to Elias, in 2010, he became just the third first-round draft pick in NFL history to play for three different teams in the same season.

Moss' regular-season success didn't translate to the postseason. His teams were 6-6 in playoff games he appeared in, including a 1-3 mark in conference championship games and Super Bowls.

Moss had 5 catches for 62 yards and a TD in the Patriots loss in Super Bowl XLII, his only Super Bowl appearance.

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