Back in mid-December, one of my updates included a dig on Randy Moss during the whole “quitting on the team” thing. I’m a little ashamed.
Word came out yesterday that Moss has a separated shoulder that was first injured back in Week 5. Yes, this is the kind of injury that could heal with enough rest, but to think any receiver without the full range of motion in both arms could play at his best is asking a lot. He did it for 11 weeks.
The shoulder wasn’t the only thing ailing Moss in 2009, that can be both good and bad news for 2010.
Let’s stick with the shoulder injury for just a bit more. Moss showed up on the injury report with a (shoulder) on Oct. 11. He played every game and was taken off the list on Nov. 6.
Prior to that, on Sept. 25, he was listed with back pain. But he played Sept. 27. He was on the report that time through Oct. 1.
So, Moss was at least aching for most of the season, right? But it didn’t show in his final statistics.
He amassed 83 catches, 1,264 yards and led the team with 13 TDs. Moss also played in 85% of the team’s offensive snaps, easily making him the team leader among wide receivers, according to a story on ESPN.com.
Factoring in that team-leader statistic and the injuries, it’s pretty obvious that Moss did not quit on the team and should be back to form in 2010.
However, the fact Moss was ailing as much as he was should concern folks a bit.
Moss has missed just six regular season games in his NFL career, so he’s not going to skip a game over a hangnail. But he is 32. While that’s not nearly the end-game for great NFL receivers, it’s going to be more difficult for him to recover from all the little nicks and that could eventually end with him in street clothes for a couple games.
So, what about Moss in 2010? If Patriots quarterback Tom Brady bounces back — dudes, read what I said about him in the Top-10 QBs of 2009 post — or even if he’s just mediocre, Moss will be a Top-5 receiver again. He’ll get 80 or more catches, 1,200 yards and 10+ scores.
However, if you have Moss in a dynasty or keeper league, it may be time to trading block him and see what kind of offers float in.
Marvin Harrison, Torry Holt and Terrell Owens are proof that if a great receiver runs into a brick wall at the end of his career he’ll bring zero value in a trade.
Harrison and Owens are a little older, but Holt and Moss are about the same age and have about the same number of NFL catches (920-926 in favor of Moss).
Holt was ranked as a preseason Top-10 receiver a year ago (2008) and in the Top-5 the year before that (2007). Harrison went from being a Top-2 receiver pick in 2007 to a Top-25 receiver in 2008 to not even being on a team in 2009.
Don’t look at those steep declines, panic and trade Moss for Mike Sims-Walker straight-up. He still has plenty of value, and probably a couple great years left.