The pros and cons of Mr. Moss

The question of the day is: would a claim of Randy Moss by the Rams be a beneficial move?

Let’s look at the pros and cons of such a move, shall we?

In the pro column, the Rams would be acquiring arguably the best receiver in the NFL. He’s 11th among active receivers at 15.6 yards per catch, fifth all time and third active at 76.6 receiving yards per game, and second all time to Jerry Rice with 153 receiving touchdowns. As late as last season, Moss caught 83 balls with a league leading thirteen touchdowns, and 15.2 yards per catch.

Moss would provide the tall receiver that the Rams don’t have without a healthy Danario Alexander. He’s experienced, with Hall of Fame credentials to help the youngsters on the roster. (Word out of Minnesota was that Moss went out of his way to help Percy Harvin acclimate himself to the NFL).

He provides the missing deep threat, which would help the investment in Bradford’s arm. As great as Bradford has been, he hasn’t been asked to throw deep very often. Accuracy with the deep ball is one of the reasons Bradford is a Ram, and if Moss can do nothing else, he can go get the deep ball.

He would stretch defenses to help the running game. How much of a difference would it make for Steven Jackson if Moss were taking a double team downfield with him? One other positive, Moss might play angry, like he did when he was drafted so low. A motivated Moss is impossible to cover, as we saw last season, when he had five 100-yard games, eight with a touchdown.

Moss does bring some baggage. He’s high maintenance, and has to be attended to on a regular basis. He isn’t a route runner, basically running post patterns or nine routes on every play. And, Moss hasn’t played much in the West Coast offense during his career…with only the last month in Minnesota being it. So those two offset each other. Just tell him to go long, and Bradford will hit him. If Moss wouldn’t work out, he could be expensive. If the Rams cut him after a month, they’d likely have to pay him almost $2 million NOT to play. He also has a tendency to run afoul of the law, having hit a policewoman during his first stint in Minnesota, and admitting is occasional marijuana use.

Perhaps the biggest charge against Moss is that he quit on Minnesota and Oakland. In his first stint with the Vikings, there were many games when he didn’t show up. In one memorable game against the Redskins, he left the field early. And he just shut it down while a member of the Raiders, which prompted his trade to New England.

Most recently, Moss was mean to caterers in Minnesota. Steve Spagnuolo is a good guy who wants his players to treat people well. If Moss would act like a buffoon here, he should…and probably would…be gone in a second. While there’s a belief Moss could cause locker room problems, he’s generally been regarded as a good teammate.

Bottom line, I think it’s worth the gamble. Moss needs to be on his best behavior and highest production for the stretch run of this season. If he wants that new contract next season, he needs to put on a good show. And a good show by Moss could give the Rams a division title. If he doesn’t behave or produce, the Rams can cut him on the spot. If I were in their shoes, I’d take the flyer on Moss.