Let me begin by saying that every player in the NFL is talented. That's the simple truth. The players in the NFL are the best of the best at what they do and have survived the cut at every level of play. From Pop Warner games to High School football, from college ball to making the NFL, every player has utilized talent to make it to where they are. But if every player is talented, let's just say that some transcend that word into the truly gifted category.
Randy Moss is that type of player.
Moss is one of the most physically gifted wide receivers to ever play the game. He is a freakish athlete who combines size and speed with an amazing instinct into one package that may be the best the NFL has ever seen. Unfortunately, he wasn't gifted with a work ethic and competitive nature that is equal to his talents and that lack of character has landed the wideout the label of talented but troubled.
A known whiner and quitter of plays, Moss has built a reputation about as mixed as they come. Simply put, people perceive him as one of the most talented of all time but a player who lacks the heart and discipline to back it up.
That was Randy 1.0. But with signing a one year contract on Monday with the San Francisco 49ers (after taking a year off from the game), is Randy 2.0 going to be the same guy as before? Or has he learned his lesson and is ready to embrace his substantial gifts; gifts that are still prevalent even at age 35.
"I accept the challenge and I'm ready to bring the fans out of their seats," Moss said. "I like what I can do for the NFL. I don't like what the NFL can do for me."
With this signing in San Francisco, Moss is being given something rare in the sports world, a second chance. Yes, he has all the stats a guy could ever want but when it comes to legacy, you better show a commitment to the game or you will be chewed up and spit back out.
This is Moss's last chance to shine and it's on a SuperBowl contender with a desperate need for productive wideout. The 49ers haven’t had a 1,000 yard receiver since Terrel Owens back in 2003 and in the NFC Championship loss to the Giants. San Fran's wideouts accounted for only 1 receptions in the game.
Moss could change all that and give this city another shot at a SuperBowl; but only if Randy wants to. He gets one shot at this. One chance to show the world his love and commitment to the game. One shot to change everyone's opinion about him.
Will he do it or will he quit?
That's the question that will be answered this season.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS