Randy Moss has announced his retirement. An all-time great and a sure Hall of Famer, Moss’ greatness cannot be denied.
He is one of the best big-play offensive players of all time and the elite threat of our generation. Moss’ physical abilities were off the charts.
But this seems like a good time for him to retire. Last season, when Moss played for three different teams, was an embarrassing showing for Moss. For all of Moss’ greatness, the majority of his brilliance was based off those off-the-charts physical abilities that he was born with. And some of those talents have eroded -- as they do to all players with age.
Again, if I had a Hall of Fame vote, I would vote Moss in as soon as he was eligible. But the majority of his extreme effectiveness was based on his ability to really get deep. Some technician wide receivers like Derrick Mason and Hines Ward can age more gracefully. Moss horrified opposing defenses because of his great speed, explosion, coordination, height and ridiculous ball skills.
He was never a precise route runner or a guy who made his living between the numbers. So, when his speed and explosion deteriorated, Moss’ effectiveness did as well. Now, I believe Moss could still go up and get the football in the end zone -- he has simply been an elite touchdown producer over his career and thrived in the red zone. But without the ability to simply run by most corners, Moss just isn’t the same.
I was asked repeatedly over the lockout, “What does Moss have left?” My answer was always, “I don’t really know since 2010 was such a strange season for him. It all comes down to if he can still really run. If he can’t, he isn’t Randy Moss. If he can, he still has a major role on a downfield passing team.”
Apparently, Moss realized he wasn’t quite the same in this capacity and wisely decided to get out instead of suffering through a season like he did in 2010.
All of that being said, I will very much miss watching what Moss could do on the football field. There really has not been another player quite like him.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com. Follow Matt Williamson on Twitter @WilliamsonNFL.