It’s the NFL offseason and as usual speculation is rampant about which players could go where. For perhaps the first time in NFL history the two leading conversation topics are players that didn’t play a single game last season, Randy Moss and Peyton Manning. Each player has been tossed around to various teams they could wind up signing with and the 49ers have been mentioned in both cases. Here are the breakdowns of each player and their possible impact with the 49ers.
Moss’s statistical history is staggering. 153 touchdowns and over 14,000 yards receiving. His first 10 years in the league he was on a pace to surpass some of the all-time great Jerry Rice in a few categories. Now, however those days seem like ancient history. He is now 35 years old and didn’t even play in the league last season as teams decided he wasn’t worth any potential damage he could bring into the locker room. His last full season he played for three different teams, the last of which were the Tennessee Titans where Moss played in 8 games and managed only 6 catches for 80 yards. Randy Moss and ESPN analyst and former NFL wide receiver Chris Carter claim Moss can still a 4.3 in the 40 yard dash. If that is really accurate, the next question is how many times will Moss put out that kind of effort and how many times will he just take a play off. The 49ers definitely need help at the wide receiver position but if they are looking to get a reliable speedy deep route receiver they can just resign Ted Ginn Jr. Who is one of the fastest players in the league, knows the offense and is also a kick return specialist. There are odds out there putting the 49ers chances of signing Randy Moss at 5:1. My advice, don’t bet on it.
Peyton Manning has pretty much done it all in his career. He has thrown for over 50,000 yards and almost 400 touchdowns. He is a true master of the game and if and when he does retire he will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play. Currently with his injury situation and the Colts making changes and appearing ready to move on without Manning in their future, speculation has put Manning and the 49ers in the same sentence. 49ers fans a year ago would have jumped at this opportunity before the career threatening neck surgeries Manning underwent along with the career year of Alex Smith and the team being a score away from the Super Bowl. Now everyone is approaching the situation much more cautiously. My own opinion has always been that Peyton Manning will never play again. Even if that’s wrong, with an injury to the neck and regenerating nerves to regain arm strength the 49ers would have to be willing to put it all on the line to sign Manning. Even without the lingering health issues, would Manning and Harbaugh be able to co-exist as coach and quarterback when one could argue that both of them are coach and quarterback anyway? Couple those issues with the injury questions along the 49ers relative play it safe mentality in free agency and it seems the end of Peyton Manning’s career will not be in San Francisco