RENTON - I tried to tell the Seahawks they needed Randy Moss.
That was back in 1998 when they foolishly passed on Moss and instead used the No. 15 pick of the NFL draft on Clemson linebacker Anthony Simmons.
Moss had a spotty background and questionable character at Marshall, but was far too good a talent to pass up, I argued. No-brainer, it seemed.
Compared to Moss, Simmons ended up with seven fewer Pro Bowl appearances and 152 fewer touchdowns.
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More than a dozen years later, I would argue the opposite, that the Hawks probably need to pass on Moss this time.
As of Monday evening, Moss was expected to be cut by Minnesota and available on the waiver wire today, with 15 teams (going from worst record to best) having a shot at him before Seattle. But early scuttlebutt was that Seattle and Miami were the most interested.
As badly as the Seahawks need offensive talent, and as banged up as the receiving corps is right now, Moss’ availability has appeal.
But, boy, there’s some risks.
The Vikings are 2-5, but it appears they are about to cut him not try to trade him. Cut him. He didn’t appear on the waiver wire Monday, but his agent said that it was merely a matter of time before he was set free.
The New England Patriots, meanwhile, were trying to win the AFC East, but they traded him to Minnesota a month ago for a third-round draft pick.
If Moss had so much to offer, why would two teams bag him in such a short time? Apparently, because he’s such a pain.
He has 22 catches this season and five touchdowns, but is he worth the circus that follows?
Under the aggressive management of general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll, the Hawks have become surprisingly competitive by constant and creative acquisition of players.
They’ve been bold and imaginative.
I am certain they find Moss intriguing.
He’s 6-foot-4 and still has enough physical skills to be the best receiver on the roster. Especially with Mike Williams (knee) and Golden Tate (ankle) slowed, Moss would immediately be a weapon defenses would have to fear.
Schneider and Carroll have made it clear the way they go about business – talent carries a lot of weight. This is not a Boy Scout troop they’re running. Their mandate is to win games.
Carroll would not discuss the issue during his Monday afternoon press conference. Of course, the pursuit of Moss would take fans’ minds off the thorough 33-3 defeat the team suffered at Oakland on Sunday.
In the short term, Moss probably would help. He might even be focused and productive as he worked to prove the Vikings wrong.
But as they’re rebuilding this franchise, is Moss the guy the Seahawks want in the locker room?
Moss has conceded he doesn’t go hard every play. He poor-mouthed the Vikings coaching staff after Sunday’s loss to New England. With the Seahawks struggling to establish an identity, and facing a tough stretch during reconstruction, Moss could turn distressingly sour in a short time.
Every coach in the league believes that he can effectively manage any talented player who has been unhappy or a bad fit elsewhere.
Carroll probably thinks he can keep Moss on task and motivated.
But if T.J. Houshmandzadeh seemed nettlesome with his outspokenness, Moss could crank that up by a factor of 10. And the Hawks already paid some $6 million to get rid of Houshmandzadeh.
Credit to these guys for examining every option, for never giving up the quest to upgrade talent, for searching under every stone.
But the stone with Moss on it should be ignored this time.