The NFL awarded Randy Moss to the Tennessee on Wednesday -- given the Titans spot in the NFL's waiver order, a large number of teams declined to claim Moss.
A report from SI's Don Banks before the 4 PM EST waiver deadline indicated that Tennessee put in a claim, and it appears that Moss' reported unwillingness to show up to a non-contender's office may have put a scare in several teams, most notably the St. Louis Rams, who were actually favored to land Moss, but concerned with how he might affect a young locker room.
In fact, the NFL Network's Michael Lombardi reported Wednesday that the Titans were the only team put a claim in for Moss.
Fans of the NFL (and especially Tennessee fans) will recall that in the 1998 NFL Draft, with the 16th overall pick, the Tennessee Oilers made Kevin Dyson the first wideout taken ... five spots ahead of where Moss was selected by the Vikings.
Clearly Moss' addition makes the Titans a better team -- Chris Johnson will see less stacked boxes and if Kenny Britt is able to return (which isn't guaranteed, and may be part of the reason why the Titans targeted Moss), he'll be facing single coverage frequently.
Vince Young's ability to scramble and improvise should work quite well with Moss' deep speed (and, by the way, Young's the top-rated passer in the NFL right now), and Moss should be absolutely drooling when he looks at the Titans remaining schedule: after the Titans Week 9 bye, they face Miami (12th in the league against the pass), the Redskins (30th), the Texans (32nd) twice, the Jaguars (28th), the Colts (7th) twice, and the Chiefs (23rd).
Quickly following the news that the Titans were awarded Moss, multiple reports indicated that the wideout would report to Tennessee, and his agent, Joel Segal, confirmed that in a statement Wednesday.
"Randy is looking forward to coming to Tennessee," Segal said via Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean. "He is ready to play."
The Titans are excited as well, clearly.
"We are always looking for ways to improve our roster," said Titans GM Mike Reinfeldt, according to the Titans Twitter feed. "Randy is obviously a Hall of Fame player, [and] has the ability to be a difference maker for our offense."
Jeff Fisher added that, "We had an opportunity to upgrade our offense and Randy has been a tremendous threat where ever he has been. We will bring him up to speed as quickly as possible."
Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post reports that the Patriots and Vikings will each foot $1.5 million of Moss' contract, while the Titans will pick up the remaining $3.4 million because of their waiver claim.
TITANS PLAYER QUOTES:
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR MIKE HEIMERDINGER
I have been fortunate to work with a number of very talented receivers in my time in the league and Randy is obviously one of the best of all time, so I am looking forward to meeting him and getting him involved in our offense. We will plug him in at one spot and get him up to speed at that one position. I think he fits well into what we want to do as an offense and doesn’t require us to change anything. He should be a difference maker for the offense and other individual players on our offense. Again, I don’t know him, but I have heard he is competitive and smart football player.
TE BO SCAIFE
I’m excited about getting Randy here. I’ve got a lot of respect for him, and he’s going to be a good fit for us. I know he’s going to help us, so you can’t really go wrong from that aspect. I hope he’s mad at those other teams passing him up and he comes in and gives us the best eight games of his career.
T MICHAEL ROOS
I think it’s going to be great to have Randy here, a player of his caliber, expertise and experience. It should definitely help our offense, especially in the running game, being able to take away some extra guys in the box from C.J. From what I’ve heard from everybody else, he’s a great teammate, and I look forward to having him in our locker room.
RB CHRIS JOHNSON
I actually have never met Randy, but as soon as I heard what was going on, the first thing I did was I made sure I said something here. Then I got on the phone with my agent (Joel Segal)—who’s Randy’s agent also—and I told him we need to get Randy here. My wish just came true. I’m very excited. That’s a guy we grew up watching. We named jump balls after him. When somebody goes up and gets one, it’s named after him. We call it ‘getting a Moss.’ So I’m very excited about the situation, to play with a guy like that, and I’m very excited that he’ll back some of those guys out of the box. I know for a fact they can’t put all those guys in the box with that guy out there.
QB VINCE YOUNG
I’m glad Randy is going to be here with us as a Tennessee Titan. He’s another weapon to add to what we already have, and he’s going to make all of us better on offense. I’m looking forward to getting him here and working with him.
FB AHMARD HALL
I was really excited about the signing. Randy Moss is a legend in this game, and the Titans aren’t really known for making too many big splashes. I think it’s going to bring a lot of energy to this town, a lot of energy to this team. I think he has a lot to offer to the younger guys, he’s been there, done that. He’s proven himself in this game. It’s going to help us out tremendously in the running game with him stretching the field and everything, so I’m excited about him coming and seeing how he can help this team win.
CB CORTLAND FINNEGAN
It is a great pickup for us. One of receivers now is down and he can come in and pose a deep threat and take eight out of the box for C.J., but still being a dynamic player. It helps us as a team and an offense. He is a deep threat, he can run routes and get open, he can score touchdowns and he is a game changer. It is going to be big for us.
LB WILL WITHERSPOON
When I found out about it, I was like, OK, it’s an addition that I think can be great for us. I have respected Randy’s play for a long time. Everybody says it’s up or down or hit or miss, and you have to deal with all those issues. I think we need to make sure we are here to play, we are here to win, and that is what it is all about. I think Coach Fisher said it himself, anytime you have a chance to improve the roster, you need to try to make that move if you can. I think they had the opportunity and took full advantage of it.
LB GERALD McRATH
I’m just excited. He brings even more talent to the team. I feel like he will be a great addition to this team. He will fit right in. Just watching him, he has respect around the league. I’m grateful and happy that I have a chance to work with him.
S MICHAEL GRIFFIN
We are already one of the highest scoring offenses right now in the league, and hopefully that means we can continue to add more points on the scoreboard. I think it is going to help C.J. out a lot in getting those eight or nine-man fronts out. You are going to have to keep a safety over and one-on-one with him. You just hope that he comes in and can help this team out and we can continue to move forward.
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