LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Surely news of Minnesota’s shocking decision to waive Randy Moss evoked thoughts around Chicago of the talented receiver finally donning a Bears uniform.
Yet it’s unlikely the club will put in a claim for Moss, who isn’t expected to be waived officially until Tuesday afternoon at the earliest.
The Bears haven’t made any public comments about the possibility of acquiring the receiver, but there’s a good chance the brass at Halas Hall has at least discussed -- albeit briefly -- whether such a move makes sense. It doesn’t, based on a couple of preliminary factors. That’s not to say making a move for Moss is totally out of the realm of possibility, it’s just highly unlikely.
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter said various league sources indicated the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and the Bears could be possibly interested in making a claim for Moss.
The receiver will enter waiver process Tuesday, and there’s a good chance he could join a new team soon after he’s officially waived, considering his representatives -- according to reports -- have already been contacted by the Dolphins and Seahawks. The Buffalo Bills, by virtue of owning the worst record in the league, get first dibs on Moss, who will be awarded to the team with the worst record to put in a claim.
If Moss isn’t claimed, he becomes a free agent and is free to sign with any team.
The first and likely most insignificant obstacle to acquiring Moss would be his salary. The team making the successful waiver claim for Moss would be on the hook for nine game checks, or approximately $3.6 million of the receiver’s $6.4 million base salary.
General manager Jerry Angelo has indicated several times that he’s exhausted the budget allocated by ownership for high-priced acquisitions. So given the fact Moss is highly unlikely to sign a multi-year deal upon joining his new team, the Bears would be essentially renting the receiver for nine games.
That’s probably not the route the Bears want to go, especially after spending so lavishly in free agency to acquire defensive end Julius Peppers.
Besides that, the club claims to be happy with its young group of receivers led by Devin Hester and Johnny Knox. It would be difficult for Moss to grasp the intricacies of offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s system quickly enough to make a significant impact without sacrificing the playing time of others who have already spent approximately eight months learning the offense.
Chicago’s 4-3 record could make acquiring Moss difficult, too. Not counting the Bears, 17 teams -- possibly 18 depending on the outcome of tonight’s matchup between the Colts and Texans -- own records of 4-3 or worse, which puts the club near the back of the line for a crack at Moss’ services.
While Moss contributed (13 catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns) in four games as a Viking, the team’s decision to waive him after giving up a third-round pick to acquire him indicates the receiver’s physical gifts weren’t strong enough for Minnesota to deal with whatever issue or issues lurked behind the scenes.
Clearly Moss, 33, still possesses elite physical skills.
In addition, he’s not the “cancer” he’s portrayed as being, although Moss’ run-ins with coaches and the media have been well documented. Given the aversion for such players by Bears coach Lovie Smith and Angelo, don’t count on the club taking a chance on sacrificing chemistry in the locker room and harmony among the coaching staff for one player, no matter how talented.
Martz and nearly every facet of the club’s offense are already under intense scrutiny. No need to crank up the question marks another three or four levels by adding Moss.