Randy Moss may have to get accustomed to wearing black and gold very soon.
League sources tell sportsNOLA.com that Moss had an off-the-charts workout at the Saints facility this morning.
The 35-year old Moss reportedly perfomed the 40-yard dash in the 4.39 to 4.4 range and ran routes while hauling in nearly 50 passes. One source described Moss as being more impressive than anticipated, saying that he is in great shape.
Moss spoke with Saints officials, including Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton, after the workout and both sides were encouraging to one another. The sources confirm that there is a strong chance of the two sides coming together on a deal that would make Moss a Saint in 2012.
Moss has played 13 years in the NFL, including eight years with the Minnesota Vikings over two stints, two years with the Oakland Raiders, four years with the New England Patriots and part of one season with the Tennessee Titans.
Moss holds the single season touchdown reception record of 23, set in 2007. He also holds the NFL single season touchdown reception record for a rookie of 17, set back in 1998 when he was the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year. He holds the record for most seasons with 17 or more touchdown receptions (3) and the most games in a season with at least two touchdown receptions (8) in 2007. He is one of only two players to have 1,600+ receiving touchdowns in a season (2003), with the other being Calvin Johnson (2011).
Moss has 954 receptions for 14,858 yards and 153 touchdowns. He retired on August 1, 2011 but announced on February 13 of this year that he was coming out of retirement. His 154 total touchdowns rank fifth in NFL history while his 954 catches are ninth all-time. Moss started his career with six consecutive 1,200+ yard receiving seasons, the most in NFL history. He has the highest career yards per catch average for any player with 900+ receptions at 15.6 yards per catch.
A five-time All-Pro selection, in his last year of 2010, Moss combined for just 28 catches for 393 yards and five touchdowns, splitting the season between New England, Minnesota and Tennessee.
The questions surrounding Moss are largely centered around his off-the-field behavior and his effort on the field. Moss has been involved in incidents, including leaving the field during a game in 2004 with two seconds left, admitting to smoking marijuana on occasion in his pro career and being questioned for his work ethic.
Sean Payton and the Saints believe that playing for a winning team with a good organization and a great quarterback could bring the best out in Moss.
If the Saints are looking at Moss from the standpoint of simply taking a flyer on a free agent who could return to some of his former glory, rather than being a go-to or premier guy, it is a sound approach. If they take the approach that Moss is a primary, key player to perhaps gear an offense around, that would be a mistake but the former seems to be the trend of thought, rather than the latter.
The latest development would indicate that there is a good chance that the Saints will not be able to retain Marques Colston.
With Devery Henderson under contract, the Saints will attempt to bring back Robert Meachem and give Adrian Arrington a chance as well, to along with Jimmy Graham, Lance Moore and Darren Sproles as part of many targets for Drew Brees. With Henderson, Meachem and Arrington, the Saints may feel they can replace the productivity that Colston gave them.
Colston, who turns 29 in June, is coming off of his second best season as a Saint. In 14 games, he caught 80 passes for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 14.3 yards per catch. Only his 2007 season, in which he caught 98 balls for 1,202 yards and 11 touchdowns, was more productive. Colston has enjoyed five 1,000+ yard seasons in his six years in the league. He has a good rapport with Drew Brees.
Speaking of Brees, the Saints are working hard to get a long term deal done with Brees prior to July 15. Brees has until April 16 to decide if he will sign the franchise tender if he is to be eligible to participate in off-season organized team activities.
Expect New Orleans to work hard at retaining guard Carl Nicks.
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