Rich Gannon was on Sirius XM Radio yesterday talking about the 49ers and Jim Harbaugh. Among the nuggets was that Harbaugh praised Randy Moss’ work throughout the offseason, and called him “our best receiver right now.”
We have no reason to doubt Harbaugh on this, who also probably referred Alex Smith as “the best quarterback in the league” and someone he never tried to replace. That is high praise, though, considering the team already has Michael Crabtree, who stretched the field last year with 12.1 yards per reception. The team also added Mario Manningham from the Giants and rookie A.J. Jenkins in the first round of the draft.
Randy Moss, of course, signed a one-year deal with the 49ers this offseason, trying to come back after retiring a year ago. He is a sure Hall of Famer and it would be laughable not to say he was the clear best receiver in that group a couple of years ago. Last offseason, I wrote how Moss could be a very short term gamble, but not anyone to count on long term. Of the best receivers through age 33, only Jerry Rice had a 1,000 yard season after age 35. Terrell Owens, James Lofton, and Henry Ellard all did it for the last time at the same age Randy is this year. Here’s a list of everyone that had a thousand yard receiving season at age 35 or older; Moss will try to become the 12th.
Moss is two years removed from playing, and three years removed from a good season. He’s a mercurial talent, so nothing would surprise me, but I’ll need to see it to believe it in 2012. He still might be the best receiver in San Francisco, but will he be even close to the old Randy Moss?