Randy Moss was one of the stars at Super Bowl Media Day, but when it came to the title game, he was largely absent for the San Francisco 49ers. Heading into the off-season one of the decisions the 49ers front office will need to make is whether or not to re-sign Moss.
With or without Moss on the roster, the 49ers need an upgrade at wide receiver. The offense needs an established receiver that can be a deep threat to spread out the field, someone like Dwanye Bowe or Mike Wallace, who are both free agents. Moss mostly had the role of being the deep threat receiver in 2012, but with his age and declining speed, the 49ers should look elsewhere. Not only that, but Moss didn’t exactly do himself any favors when he said the following at Super Bowl Media Day about his role in San Francisco and whether or not he will play next season:
I don’t like my role. I really don’t. I like to be out there playing football. One thing I’ve really had to understand is being a decoy. I understand my presence out on the field, that I don’t always have to touch the ball to help the offense score touchdowns. Like I said, I don’t really like that, but it’s something that I’m used to. I had to grow to understand it.
Fair enough, that was Moss just being honest. But after he said he “I do want to play another year,” he was asked if it would be with the 49ers? His response was, “I don’t know about that. Next question.”
Moss signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract last off-season. With the season over the 49ers actually paid the receiver a total of $1.75 million for his services. He finished the regular season with 28 receptions for 434 yards and three touchdowns. When you throw in he was a good teammate on and off the field, and he was a mentor to the younger receivers on the roster, it was money well spent. At least in the regular season it was.
Reasons Not To Re-Sign Moss
Moss wasn’t a big factor in the Super Bowl, at least with his stats. He finished with only two receptions for 41 yards and no touchdowns. Where he did have an influence in the game was not what the 49ers Faithful had in mind.
In the second quarter of the Super Bowl, the 49ers were on their own 40-yard line when Colin Kaepernick threw a pass to Moss who was running a crossing pattern. The infamous throw sailed over Moss’ head and was intercepted by Ed Reed. The turnover stalled the 49ers offensive drive after the Baltimore Ravens went up 14-3.
Since the end of the Super Bowl a lot has been said about Moss giving up on the play. When watching the game live I did not think Moss stopped short on the pass, but that it was an overthrow he had no chance of reaching. Also, I was probably too distraught over the interception that interrupted the 49ers drive to recognize Moss giving up on the play. But after re-watching the whole game and viewing the following GIF from OCNNReport.com, it does look like he stopped short.
I am playing devil’s advocate here, but would really Moss give up on the NFL’s biggest stage? Likely not and here’s why. First, he came out of retirement after sitting out the 2011 season just to win a Super Bowl. Would he make it back all the way to the Super Bowl to only give up on plays and cause the team to lose the Super Bowl?
Also, it was clear Moss was not happy with his role on the team. He kept quiet about it for most of the season, which was very unlike Moss. But there is risk in bringing him back for another season because he might revert back to his old, self-serving ways and complain out loud about his role on the team. Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers don’t need that kind of attitude on the team.