To Moss, or not to Moss?

Rewards outweigh the risks for Packers if they obtain disgruntled wide receiver Randy Moss, says's Bob Fox.

That is the question. The rumors are hot and heavy that the Green Bay Packers might have an opportunity to acquire Randy Moss from the Oakland Raiders for as little as a third round draft pick. Brett Favre has supposedly endorsed this idea to general manager Ted Thompson. The acquisition of Moss has its risks and rewards if indeed it happens. But to me, the rewards far outweigh the risks.

Yes, there has been some drop off recently with Moss's numbers, but most of that can be pointed at the bad offense in Oakland the last couple of years, namely the bad play of the quarterbacks. Moss is a true home run threat. He may not be the Moss of five years ago, but like Favre, he still has plenty in the tank. The Packers desperately need to get more playmakers on offense. Moss is a playmaker.

After acquiring Moss, I would assign him No. 84, his number in Minnesota. It's also Javon Walker's old number in Green Bay. Moss can do what no one in Green Bay has done since Walker was traded to Denver. That is, he can stretch the field and go up and get the football in traffic. Moss may be the best of all time in doing this.

No. 84 is also an appropriate number because of Favre's history with the Pack. When injuries were decimated the Packer receiving corp in 1996, Ron Wolf went out and got Andre Rison. Rison wore No. 84 and also caught the home run ball from Favre to start Super Bowl XXXI. That 54-yard touchdown reception led to a 35-21 win over the New England Patriots and the Lombardi Trophy.

The Lombardi Trophy seemed a LONG way away after the 2005 regular season ended for the Packers. They were 4-12 and had just fired their head coach. Favre had the worst season of his career. Ahman Green suffered a serious quad injury. There were multiple holes on the roster. Then came the 2006 season. A strong finish led to an 8-8 record. New head coach Mike McCarthy got his squad to believe in themselves. Favre played much better. Green bounced back with a very solid year. A very solid draft and key free agent acquisitions significantly upgraded the roster.

The 2007 season has many possibilities. Favre will be back. Green probably will be. Odds are that Thompson will have another very solid draft based on his track record. The Packers should be contenders in the very watered down NFC. The NFC North could be very interesting based on the 26-7 pounding the Packers gave the Chicago Bears the last game of 2006. Yes, the Bears had clinched home field advantage, but they played their starters most of the game and were dominated on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

Moss can help make 2007 very special. The Packers have the cap room to absorb his $9.75 million salary. It worked out OK last year when the Packers added Moss' former teammate Charles Woodson for more than a $10 million dollar commitment in 2006. Moss will make the Packers offense dynamic. No more double teams on Donald Driver. Greg Jennings would thrive as the slot receiver working the middle of the field. The running game would be better because there will be less defenders in the box because of the Packers' passing game threat.

Yes, Moss has his baggage. He mooned the Lambeau Field faithful at a playoff game a couple of years back. He has said in the past that he has taken plays off. He has had injury issues the last couple of years. I just don't see Moss being a problem in Green Bay with Favre as his quarterback. The two have a mutual respect for each other. They each have a deep admiration of each other's play. The Moss trade might also expand Favre's commitment to the Packers for another year. Moss has two years left on his contract. If the experiment fails, the Packers can say goodbye without cap ramifications. If it succeeds, than Favre and the Packers have a real chance to pursue another Lombardi Trophy.

Peyton Manning has BOTH Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. He also has his first Super Bowl win. When Favre and the Packers won it all in 1996, they had Antonio Freeman and Rison at wide receiver after the Robert Brooks' knee injury. Just imagine Moss and Driver across from each other. Throw in Jennings and perhaps an upgrade at tight end, and Favre has to be licking his chops. Again the question is ... to Moss, or not to Moss? I'm sure Roberto Duran would say no Moss, but I say bring him in and let's go for it all.

Bob Fox is a frequent contributor to E-mail him at

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