The Vikings could be without two of their top tight ends from recent years, blocker Jim Kleinsasser …
Where would Moss fit?
A focused Randy Moss is a dangerous thing.
An old, belligerent Randy Moss is a dangerous thing.
The Randy Moss with a chip on his shoulder can be the difference between winning and losing. Commenting on the news Monday, former Viking Cris Carter said he believes Moss could still be a playmaker in the NFL at age 35 and can still run a legitimate 4.3 40-yard dash.
The bad news for the Vikings is that, after his return to Minnesota in 2010 that went sour and became the flashpoint of a power struggle between the front office and then-head coach Brad Childress, there is likely no chance Moss will receive a third stint with the Vikings. Unfortunately, he could end up with any of the other three NFC North teams.
One thing that seems readily apparent is that, if anyone does sign Moss, they do so to make a Super Bowl run. Moss said he doesn't want to go to a rebuilding team. His reality is that he is a mercenary looking for one more chance to get the championship ring he seemed destined to get when he shattered single-season records in 2007 with the Patriots. A case can be made that any of the other three teams in the division could use Moss in 2012.
Green Bay – This would be the least likely scenario for a landing spot for Moss, but would somehow seem like poetic justice for Packers fans who felt betrayed to see Brett Favre in purple and gold. In many ways, Moss would be the ideal type of receiver in the Packers system. With Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson set up as the present and future of the passing game, Moss could be used on a part-time basis to do what he does best – streak deep down the field and take two defenders with him. The Packers won't be a favorite to land Moss, but he would be intriguing on a one-year basis.
Detroit – In many ways, this could be the ideal landing spot for Moss. Calvin Johnson has emerged as arguably the best wide receiver in the league and, as such, gets an inordinate amount of defensive attention. Some teams have opted to triple-bracket him on plays to make sure he doesn't get the ball. The Lions haven't had a big-play receiver on the other side (no disrespect to Nate Burleson or Titus Young) that would require defensive attention the way Moss would. He could be an ideal No. 2 receiver that could make not only Megatron better, but Matthew Stafford as well.
Chicago – This would be one of the preferred landing spots for Moss, if not for the championship-seeking ways. In Green Bay, Moss would be the No. 3 or 4 receiver. In Detroit, he would be No. 2. In Chicago, he could be "The Man." The Bears broke the bank to get Jay Cutler in a trade three years ago, but the team has never invested in the draft or free agency to get Cutler a go-to receiver most elite quarterbacks have. The Bears have a slew of No. 2 and 3 receivers, but don't have that one guy who can dominate games and be the focal point of the deep passing game. In the (very) short term, Moss could provide that for Cutler and the Bears.
In the end, Moss' announcement that he wants to give playing one more shot before he rides off into the sunset will have coaches and G.M.s looking over their own rosters and trying to figure out how Moss could fit. When his head is right, he can still dominate games like few other receivers ever have. He may not find a landing spot, as teams like the Vikings determine his head-case status outweighs his immense talent. If he does, however, don't bet against him making a splash impact. He has that kind of skill and, in vastly different roles, could be the missing piece of a championship puzzle for three NFC North teams. Unfortunately for Vikings fans still dreaming of years gone by, Minnesota is the fourth team in that equation.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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