After taking a season-long break from the National Football League, wide receiver Randy Moss is back with the San Francisco 49ers. But he's now 35 and in the twilight of his career. The bright side of that is that he's on one of the best teams in the league. The down side of that is that Alex Smith, who isn't exactly an elite quarterback, will be throwing to him. But realistically, we should expect Moss to be the dominant receiver he's still capable of being. What exeactly should we expect? How will he compare to other greats before him at similar points in their careers? Just keep this phrase in mind: Cash, homie. Cash.
Terrell Owens - If there was anyone who is like Moss, it's Owens. By that, it means that Owens was the definition of a diva. Once one of the most dominant recievers of his generation, one can find his football career nowadays spiraling down in flames largely because of his cancerous attitude. Moss was the same way during the same way when his mood took alarming turns during the 2010 season with the New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans. From the fan's point of view, it appeared that Moss had lost his mind and was determined to destroy his NFL career.
In no way does that mean Owens can't still play of course. During his 14th season and first with the Buffalo Bills in 2009 , Owens caught 55 balls for 829 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Tim Brown - Brown played all but one of his 17 seasons with the Oakland Raiders organization. That is the meaning of loyalty to a franchise. In his 13th season he caught 91 balls for 1,165 yards and 9 touchdowns. But this was a typical season for Brown, who posted 1,000-yard seasons for the previous eight seasons.
Marvin Harrison - To understand what a perfect quarterback-wide receiver combination is, study the relationship Harrison had with Peyton Manning with the Indianapolis Colts. The two connected 953 times for a total of 112 touchdowns, more than any other duo. While he didn't play as long as the other receivers on this list, he still had a productive 13th season, which was his last. In that season he caught just 60 balls for 636 yards and five touchdowns. For an average receiver, that would be a decent output. But for Harrison it was sub-par by his standards.
Cris Carter - The gods of football created a pass-catching machine and named it Cris Carter. During his 14th season in 2000 he snatched 96 balls for 1,274 yards and nine touchdowns. That production made him a fantasy football monster. But it must be said that Carter and Moss are two completely different players. Carter was more of a possession receiver whereas Moss was, and will be a constant deep threat that will force defenses to spread out to keep an eye out for him.
Jerry Rice - As the greatest wide receiver the NFL has ever seen and the all-time leader in catches with 1,549, Jerry Rice was the epitome of consistency. However, Rice's 14th season in 1999 was his least productive in terms of yardage (830) since his rookie season in 1985 when he had 927 yards.
So what can we realistically expect from Moss? Based off the production of the greats before him, and what he did with the Patriots in his last truly productive season in 2009, we can assume he'll catch between 70-80 balls for just over 1,000 yards and six touchdowns. Let's just hope he keeps his cool this time.