The Titans felt that Randy Moss was just too good to pass up twice.
So they didn’t.
After skipping Moss in the 1998 draft, Tennessee claimed him off the waiver wire Wednesday.
“Timing is everything,” coach Jeff Fisher said Wednesday night. “I really think the quicker we get him on the field, the longer he’s here, the more productive he’ll be. We think that he can help us, and I’m looking forward to seeing him run under those deep balls.”
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The Titans didn’t seem to be the front-runner to get Moss, ranking 23rd among NFL teams in the waiver system. But Tennessee was the only team to put in a claim on the talented, but much-traveled wideout.
Concerned about Moss’ character in 1998, Tennessee, then the Oilers, drafted Kevin Dyson with the 16th pick overall instead.
MOSS MEA CULPA
The Moss experiment blew up in Brad Childress’ face, a spectacular football and public relations failure that has turned up the pressure on the Minnesota Vikings coach.
Higher than when the Vikings went 6-10 in his first year on the job. Higher than when fans filled the Metrodome with chants of “Fire Childress!” in 2008.
Childress spoke Wednesday, two days after deciding to cut Moss less than a month into his second stint in Minnesota. He declined to answer repeated questions about the specifics of the decision, including the motives behind it and whom he consulted before placing the receiver on waivers.
“It was a poor decision,” Childress said, referring to the Oct. 6 deal in which the Vikings sent a third-round draft choice to the Patriots for Moss. “I’ve got to stand up and I have to make it right. When it’s not right, you need to make it right.”
MERRIMAN TO BILLS
The winless Buffalo Bills have claimed outside linebacker Shawne Merriman off waivers in a midseason bid to improve their porous defense.
Merriman was placed on 24-hour waivers by San Diego on Tuesday.
Buffalo (0-7) had the first option on acquiring the once-feared pass rusher because it has the NFL’s worst record. Waived players are awarded to the worst team that submits a claim.
Bills linebacker Chris Kelsay perked up when word began filtering through the locker room that Merriman was on his way.
“We need more playmakers,” Kelsay said. “And if he can come in here and do that for us, we’ll welcome him with open arms.”
The move was made by first-year general manager Buddy Nix, who is familiar with Merriman. Nix previously worked in the Chargers’ front office when they drafted Merriman with the 12th pick in 2005.
Derek Anderson will be back at starting quarterback for Arizona when the Cardinals play the Vikings in Minnesota on Sunday. Anderson started the first four games, then was replaced by rookie Max Hall, who struggled mightily and was benched in the first half of last Sunday’s 38-35 loss to Tampa Bay after he had two interceptions returned for touchdowns. Steelers linebacker James Harrison called his meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “semi-productive,” saying he spoke his mind about the stricter enforcement of dangerous hits. Harrison, a former AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year, briefly threatened to retire after the NFL fined him $75,000 for his Oct. 17 helmet hit on Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice has been taken off the physically unable to perform list, allowing him to return to practice. The Vikings have three weeks to evaluate Rice, who had hip surgery in August, before determining whether to put him on the active 53-man roster. Eagles linebacker Ernie Sims has been fined $50,000 for striking defenseless receiver Lavelle Hawkins in Philadelphia’s game with the Titans on Oct. 24.