Randy Moss has decided to retire, according to ESPN reports.
“After weighing his options and contemplating offers, he's decided to retire,” Moss' agent Joel Segal said.
Earlier in July, Segal told NFL.com "He is determined, motivated and quite frankly has a huge chip on his shoulder. Whatever team ends up getting Randy, they're going to know they're getting the old Randy Moss."
"He's not just coming in to be on the team, he's going to be Randy Moss -- a difference-maker." Clearly he garnered limited, if any, offers which led him to the decision to retire.
Now it'll be interesting to see how free-agent Terrell Owens responds, and whether or not he decides to hang up the cleats as well.
All that aside, let's not forget how dominant of a player Randy Moss was throughout his 13-year career. He was initially drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the 21st overall pick in 1998, which was much later than expected due to off-the-field concerns. Most notably, the Dallas Cowboys passed on him and would later regret the decision.
That year, Moss would go on to be named the AP Offensive Player of the Year. He hauled in a rookie-record 17 touchdown catches that season, earning him a spot as a Pro Bowl starter. He was an integral key to Minnesota's top-ranked offense that set a then-NFL record with 556 points scored.
He continued to dominate in years following, and would help the Vikings reach the playoffs in his first three years, including two trips to the NFC Championship Game. But they faced a road bump prior to the 2001 season since he was demanding a long-term contract that would make him the highest-paid player in the NFL. He eventually received an 8-year deal worth $75 million, which is still amongst the largest contract given out to wide receivers.
The following year, the Vikings underwent a coaching change going from Dennis Green to Mike Tice. Tice was a strong believer that revolving the offense around Moss' ability and getting him the ball early and often would result in success. However, that could be farther from the truth as the team finished with a 6-10 record.
In 2004, Moss was hindered by a hamstring injury which ended in his first season without a 1,000 yards receiving. He would be traded on draft-day to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for the seventh overall pick, which the team used on Troy Williamson, ultimately replacing Moss.
Unfortunately, this is where Moss' career took a turn for the worse. "I am very flattered to be here and anxious to be in this situation," Moss said. "I want to get back to being a dangerous player." Note, this was just a year after they played in Super Bowl XXXVII. But Super Bowl hangover was an understatement as they'd go 37-91 since dating to the present state of the franchise.
Even though Moss was brought in to rebound from back-to-back disappointing seasons, they'd go 6-26 in the two years he spent there.
All in all, the experiment was an utter disaster and the Raiders losing ways were extremely discouraging for Moss.
Luckily, he was given a second chance when the New England Patriots acquired him in 2007 for a measly fourth-round pick. The Raiders got John Bowie, who recorded 1 tackle for them before being placed on injured reserve and eventually exiting the NFL. The Patriots, on the other hand, would get a motivated Moss who would go on to team up with Tom Brady and catch 23 touchdowns, thus breaking Jerry Rice's previous record of most touchdown receptions in a single-season.
As we all know, the Patriots began the season 18-0 primarily due to their record shattering offense. However, they would fall short in a 17-14 loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
He continued his stellar performance the following two seasons, but would be met with a peculiar series of events this year. After what is rumored to be a locker room conflict with the organization, the Patriots dealt Moss away to the Minnesota Vikings for a third-round pick, which was spent on quarterback Ryan Mallet. But after just four games of his reunion with the team, he would be waived and picked up by the Tennessee Titans. That was another misfit, and he would finish with a career low 28 receptions and 393 yards. Throughout the year, it just seemed as if he was discombobulated.
But now its all over as the 7-time Pro Bowler is officially retired and finished with 954 receptions (T-8th) for 14,858 yards (5th) and 153 (T-2nd) touchdowns.
That being so, he's a sure-fire Hall of Famer. Perhaps not a first ballot entry, due to his off-the-field antics and awkward end to his career. But there's no denying that he's one of the greatest receivers to ever step on the gridiron.
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