The buzz is enormous. Everyone is talking about it. And the predictions are running rampant, with gambling lines constantly changing to see where Randy Moss might land next. The reason: it's not every day that a high-impact playmaker at the receiver position comes tumbling down the waiver wire.
He might be getting older. He might run sloppy routes at times. He might not exhibit the proper intangibles you look for. In fact, it's that last part, Moss' mercurial personality, that will keep several teams from claiming him. But let there be no question -- this league is about wins and losses. You can train dogs to kill each other, you can even run over another human being, but there will always be one team willing to give someone a chance if they think it can help in the win-loss column, an invite will be extended.
In Randy's case, there's no reason to not extend the waiver claim (or even trade offer if the price is right for claiming team) if you're the Chiefs. Randy Moss is everything you could want at this stage in the season. This is a receiver who has led the NFL in touchdowns in two of the last three seasons. (For those counting, that would be 47 touchdowns in three seasons.) He's still a player that every defensive coordinator has to plan for. And he's the perfect answer for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Yet it's been pointed out here several times that the Chiefs passing game hasn't won many fans over with its ability to take over a football game. The rushing game will get things done in the regular season, but what if they end up facing a defense able to shut down Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones? Can Matt Cassel put this team on his back and run the length of the field to seal the game? Did anyone even watch the Buffalo game?
Dwayne Bowe is showing wonderful signs of life and has put together a very nice half season. The same can be said of new TE Tony Moeaki. But an impact playoff receiver is something the Chiefs are still missing. Chris Chambers is the one player that Chiefs fans believed would turn in a season better than his current results. Cassel has exhibited success in the past in connecting with Moss and the New England environment of Kansas City should be just fine in handling someone like Moss.
In fact, it's the pieces in place in the front office and on the sidelines that make this such a great landing spot for Moss. It's the smaller market of Kansas City. It's the winning environment on the field and in the locker room. The schedule stays relatively easy through most of the regular season, giving Moss a real chance to connect with his coaches and quarterback. Scott Pioli has made these moves before -- whether speaking of Moss himself, Corey Dillon and the like. And with Todd Haley's coaching staff, Moss has as much of a chance to stabilize in Kansas City as anywhere else.
The other factor here is the contract. As ESPN.com explains: "A team can claim him and pick up the final year of a contract that pays him $6.4 million a year. If no one claims him, the Vikings owe him the remaining $3.388 million of his deal and he’s available for about $450,000, with Moss picking the team he would like to join." The Chiefs are the only AFC West south of $100 million in salaries this season, with a total of $83,391,188 committed to the roster (over $50 million less than the Raiders). In other words, there's room for Moss however they acquire him.
The Chargers won big last week and the addition of Vincent Jackson playing for his big contract will only put a spark into a team already known for its second-half runs. The Raiders are playing as well as any team in football over the last two weeks, and anyone who wants to point to their level of competition are avoiding the glaring example of the Chiefs own schedule as well. The AFC West is a bit tighter than anyone wants to believe and the addition of Randy Moss would only help cement the Chiefs' foothold on their position as division leaders.