Randy Gene Moss is back. The 35-year-old wide receiver may not be wearing the classic silver and blue that New England fans are accustomed to seeing him in but he’ll be suiting up and tying those veteran laces next season after agreeing to a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
After a season-long retirement during the 2011-2012 season, Moss’ one year contract with San Fran has been quiet news this off-season as the headlines surrounding the NFL have included Peyton Manning’s arrival in Denver and the Saints debacle in New Orleans.
The return of Moss, however, brings a wave of excitement to the NFC West as San Francisco’s strong off-season thus far could put them back into the NFC Championship game where they almost knocked off the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
“I’m ready just to give back anything I have; my work ethic, my knowledge for the game and all the above,” Moss said after signing with the 49ers.”
Moss’ arrival in the bay-area eventually swayed former Giants wide-receiver Mario Manningham to sign a two-year contract with San Francisco, as the 49ers have been able to add two, “big game experience” wide-outs to their roster.
Manningham, who had a 17-yard, go-ahead touchdown catch against San Francisco in the NFC championship, swaps uniforms hoping to bring that vertical deep-threat, Jim Harbaugh’s offense has been lacking.
“I feel like I can come there and make an impact and be a great addition to this offense,” said Manningham.
Harbaugh will look to incorporate the wildly veteran Moss, young and athletic Manningham and last year’s top receiver Michael Crabtree, into a passing offense that according to ESPN, ranked 29th in the league last season with only 183.1 passing yards per game.
In Moss’ last full season in New England, he caught 83 receptions for 1,264 yards and 13 touchdowns helping lead New England to yet another divisional title.
“I don’t want to let them down. I just want to come and get back to what I do, and that’s getting out there playing football and stretching the field,” said Moss on his arrival in San Francisco.
The 49ers moves so far have made them one of the most active team’s in what has shaped up to be the NFL’s most historic off-season, as a number of high-profile players have changed their uniforms.
Former Giants running back, Brandon Jacobs, joins Moss and Manningham in San Francisco as the wave of Tim Tebow supporters have moved from Denver to New York courtesy of Peyton Manning’s decision to go to Mile High.
New England has picked up Brandon Lloyd in hopes of fixing their vertical offense while big name free agents such as Mario Williams (Buffalo) and Vincent Jackson (Tampa Bay) have made a splash, moving to new organizations.
With the NFL draft looming, San Francisco only hopes to acquire more depth in the opening rounds, hoping to add the missing pieces necessary to make a run back to the NFC championship. Moss and Manningham look to team up and bring back the Jerry Rice, Jason Taylor connection that bay-area fans have dearly missed since their last Super Bowl win, 17 years ago.