MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — Randy Moss is calling it a career after 13 seasons in the NFL as one of the most dynamic and polarizing players the league has ever seen.

Moss’s agent, Joel Segal, said Monday that the receiver was considering offers from several teams, but made the decision to retire. Segal declined to comment specifically on the offers, instead saying his 34-year-old client felt the time was right to step away.

“Randy has weighed his options and considered the offers and has decided to retire,” Segal said.

If this indeed is the end for Moss, he leaves the game with some of the gaudiest statistics ever posted by a receiver. His 153 touchdowns are tied with Terrell Owens for second on the career list, and he’s also fifth in yards (14,858) and tied with Hines Ward for eighth in receptions (954).

Those numbers, and his status as perhaps the best deep threat in NFL history, will make him a strong candidate for the Hall of Fame. But voters will also be weighing those numbers and his six Pro Bowl seasons against a history of boorish behavior and a penchant for taking plays off when he lost interest in the game.

His career started with seven electric seasons with the Minnesota Vikings before he went dormant for two years in Oakland. He re-emerged as a force with the New England Patriots in 2007, hauling in a single-season record 23 TD passes from Tom Brady to help the Patriots reach the Super Bowl.

Moss was traded back to the Vikings in October of last season, but the celebrated reunion lasted just four weeks. Fed up with his petulant behavior, Vikings coach Brad Childress cut Moss in November, a stunning move that played a role in the coach’s dismissal a few weeks later.

Moss finished the season with eight games in Tennessee, but made little impact with the Titans. Segal said earlier this summer that the receiver was training hard and determined to prove to the doubters that he could still dominate the game like he had in the past.

“Randy has been a great player for a long time,” said Bob Pruett, Moss’ college coach at Marshall. “He’s choosing this on his own terms and I think that’s good. If that’s what he wants to do, that’s what he should do.”

Throughout his career, Moss earned the reputation as one of the most dangerous players in the game, when he wanted to be. His combination of size, speed and intelligence has rarely been seen for a player at his position, and he deserves some credit for the influx of Cover 2 defenses throughout the NFL that were designed in large part to prevent Moss from burning them down the field.

Trouble off the field in high school prevented Moss from attending Notre Dame or Florida State, so he landed at Marshall and scored 54 touchdowns in two electrifying seasons with the Thundering Herd.

The off-field questions hurt Moss in the 1998 draft. He fell to the Vikings at pick No. 21 and he spent the next seven years making every GM in the league who passed on him regret it. He scored 17 touchdowns as a rookie to help the Vikings reach the NFC title game and only once failed to score at least 10 TDs in a season in his first tour with the team.

He also got into several controversies along the way, bumping a traffic cop in downtown Minneapolis, squirting a referee with a water bottle during a game and leaving the field early in a game against Washington, just to name a few.

Sensing a change of scenery was needed, the Vikings traded Moss to Oakland in 2005, where he spent two quiet seasons before his career was revived in New England.

Vikings fans were euphoric at the news of his return last season, but things soured in a hurry. He caught 13 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns in four games back in purple, clashed with Childress in the locker room and turned some teammates off with his poor treatment of a team caterer toward the end of his run. He hugged former Patriots teammates after a Vikings loss, and then bizarrely stepped to a podium to fawn over the Patriots, criticize the Vikings for ignoring his strategic advice, and announce his plan to interview himself the rest of the season instead of letting reporters do it.

Next stop, Tennessee, where he caught just six passes in eight games.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (10)
  1. Bob Smee says:

    Is it still retiring if the only reason you are doing it is because no one wants you?

    1. The Architect says:

      That’s pretty much the typical reason there, Bob…

  2. Real Talk says:

    Waste of talent. His name will forever be batted around when they talk about players of past and “what if”. The man was an athletic freak, but a huge head case. I am guessing he goes bankrupt within 10 years. As Rick James once said to Charlie Murphy, “They should have never gave you —-ers money!!”

    1. The Architect says:

      Did you look at his numbers? The “what if” part was pretty much realized, unless you’re suggesting he would have put up the greatest numbers of any receiver to ever play the game. That’s a pretty bold statement.

    2. Real Talk says:

      You put words in my mouth…..then acuse me of making “bold statements”. Classic!!!

      The “what if” part has never even come close to being realized. What if he would have had a better attitude? What if he played aside from just the times he wanted to? What if he quit smoking pot in the off season and focused on football? What if he would have had some continuity in his career?

      As you state, his numbers are ridiculous good now….what if he had a winner’s attitude to go along with his freak athletisicm? That was my only point…

  3. IEP says:

    “Moss’s agent, Joel Segal, said Monday that the receiver was considering offers from several teams, but made the decision to retire. ” I translate this to — the offers were as back up WR on teams that are rather lacking right now like the Rams, Texans, Dolphins and Panthers.

  4. bringbackpurplepeopleeaters says:

    He and Brett will go play catch in some pasture now.

  5. Common sense says:

    Such judgement on a guy few people have probably even met. Fans hated him for faking to pull his pants down. Some people thought he took plays off.

    Did teams not soft double team him almost every game for most of his career. Did he not still put gaudy numbers and couldn’t he singley like no other receiver blow a play wide open (given he had a quarterback that get it within his reach)?

    If you take out his stop in Oakland (the current dumping grounds and a mistake team for any player that relies on positive motivation for their mo-jo) he put incredible numbers.

    I think every player in the NFL has probably got an ego problem or drinking problem, or even a criminal past. And people cast stones at this guy?

    1. Real Talk says:

      Use your common sense and figure out why that is. Come on…its not that hard to answer your own question. Ding, ding, ding….because he was a prick.

      Other players have ego problems, drinking problems, wife cheating problems, etc….but most of them have more charisma and tend to apologize for their bad actions. Moss never apologized and seem to take satisfaction in the fact people thought he was a prick.

      Wrong or right….i’m not trying to make that argument. I’m just pointing out that because of human nature, people interpreted the guys actions as a sign he was a real a prick and thays why they cast the stones in his direction vs some other offender.

  6. Common sense says:

    Yeah, well he still was one heck of a player. Prick or not, his stats speak for themselves. If you want to place blame for a team not performing then it falls squarely on the coach and by extension the GM. One of their jobs is motivating their players to get the best out of them. Have you ever heard Bellicheck (spelling off I know) berate his players? I haven’t. He even compliments opposing players that help beat him, and tells his team the reality of being out played.

    I know everyone likes to cheer for the avenging angel, but if we held all these guys up to those standards we’d run out of stones to throw. LOL!

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