Randy Moss Signs Contract With 49ers: Will it Work?

on March 13 2012 10:31 AM
Randy Moss has 14,858 receiving yards in his 13-year career.
Randy Moss has 14,858 receiving yards in his 13-year career. Reuters

After a year away from the game, Randy Moss is back in the NFL.

The wide receiver has signed a one-year contract with the 49ers. San Francisco came to terms with Moss just a few hours after he worked out with the club.

Moss joins the team after spending the entire 2011 season at home. He said, I'm a guy straight off the couch, straight off the street.

Moss is one of the greatest players to ever play the position, but he has also been known as a distraction in the locker room throughout his career.

Is this a good signing for a team that almost made the Super Bowl this past season?

There is not much risk associated with this move.

The 49ers only gave Moss a one-year deal. They won't owe him a lot of money in future seasons, and can release him whenever they want, with little repercussions.

There have been a lot of questions about whether or not Moss could play like his old self. When the future Hall of Famer worked out with the Saints last week, he reportedly impressed a lot of people. Jay Glazer of Fox Sports said Moss looked like the old Randy.

The 49ers are in desperate need of a wide receiver.

San Francisco didn't have a player who caught over 1,000 yards this past season. Michael Crabtree led the team with 874 receiving yards.

49ers tight end Vernon Davis was consistently their best option. At times, he was their only option. This was never more evident than in the NFC Championship Game.

That night, Davis led the team with 112 yards. San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith only completed one pass to a wide receiver, and it only went for three yards.

Smith can use all the help he can get. He had his best season last year as a pro, but he didn't light up the stat sheet.

Smith was more of a game manager than anything, completing 17 touchdowns to just five interceptions in the regular season.

Moss gives Smith a big target on the outside that could help San Francisco stretch the field. Perhaps it can help him make the transition from game manager to playmaker.

That is, of course, if Moss can be productive.

There's no guarantee that Moss can perform even close to the level that he did a few years ago.

Having a good workout is one thing.  Playing well in a game is another.

Not only has Moss not played in over a year, but he did not produce at a high level the last time he put on an NFL uniform. He caught a career low 28 passes in 2010.

Moss has often been accused of not trying his hardest, and that claim has been reiterated by opposing players. At 35 years old, Moss won't be able to be a big time contributor if he doesn't give his all.

Even if Moss doesn't play well and the 49ers release him, it's possible that his negative attitude could influence the younger players on the team.

There's a reason why he played for three different teams in 2010. There's also a reason why he's been to seven Pro Bowls.

At his best, Moss is one of the most dynamic players in the NFL. At his worst, he's a cancer in the locker room that doesn't try hard on every down.

Hopefully, for the 49ers sake, the worst part of Moss stays retired.    

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