Randy Moss’ name appeared on the league’s waiver report Tuesday, officially opening the window for teams not named the Vikings to stake their claims.
Now that the transaction has been processed, let’s take a quick look at some of the details. Teams can place a claim on Moss until Wednesday, when the waiver deadline passes at 4 p.m. ET. Teams can claim Moss starting in inverse order of the current standings, with ties broken by strength of schedule. Any team that claims Moss effectively claims the balance of his current $6.4 million contract.
If Moss goes unclaimed, the Vikings owe Moss the remaining balance on his contract, effectively allowing him to “double dip” and earn a second paycheck from the Vikings as what another team might pay him after that.
Combining published reports, some whispers around the league and some educated guessing, let’s take an updated look at the most likely landing spots for Moss:
Tennessee: One of four teams, sources have told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora, that are considering signing Moss. With Kenny Britt expected to be out for an extended period of time with a hamstring injury, the need is there for the Titans. According to The Tennessean, Jeff Fisher said the team would discuss the receiver. “I’ve had every player in the building come to my backdoor and say, ‘Go get him. Go get him,’ ” Fisher said. The Titans are No. 22 in waiver wire order.
St. Louis: This move would be atypical for the Rams, who may be worried about exposing rookie QB Sam Bradford and a young group of receivers to Moss’ behind-the-scenes behavior. Still, the 4-4 Rams are in contention and among the four teams reported by La Canfora to be at least discussing the matter. NFL Network analyst Charles Davis said Moss is a good fit on the field for the Rams, and Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch believes the Rams should take the chance. The Rams are No. 13 in waiver wire order.
Oakland: Why? Because they always make these lists, and because, why not? With Al Davis, you just never know. The Raiders are No. 14.
New York: As in Jets. Senior writer Steve Wyche lists the Jets as one of two frontrunners to put a claim in on Moss. The Jets have a crowded field at receiver, but the notion is it could represent a move to block the Patriots. The Jets are No. 30, two spots ahead of the Patriots.
New England: Wow. Moss was well-liked (we think) by his teammates in New England, the team understands how to deal with him, and he could come at a bargain-basement price (not to mention the third-round pick they get when they dealt him to Minnesota) if they don’t claim him on waivers. Plus, Moss is playing for his next contract and presumably will be on his best behavior. One of the favorites, according to Wyche. Several GMs told La Canfora that they believe Moss ends up here.
Miami: Another of the four teams on La Canfora’s list, and a team linked to Moss from the start. The Dolphins already acquired Brandon Marshall, and Wyche notes Tony Sparano isn’t big on personality-driven players. Like the Jets, the Dolphins could do this, in part, to block the Patriots. Another source — The Miami Herald — says the Dolphins are interested. Miami is at No. 18.
Washington: I continue to hear conflicting rumblings on the Redskins. How conflicting? One source with knowledge of the situation says it definitely won’t happen; another lists the Redskins as the favorite. Go figure. The Redskins have a definite need at receiver, and Daniel Snyder is Daniel Snyder. I believe the notion that if the Redskins don’t claim Moss via waivers, they’re probably out of the running.
It’s also possible that no teams claim Moss, as NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi has reported this week. If Moss is claimed, we should have some type of answer by tomorrow.
– Frank Tadych