Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

Forget Randy Moss, but how about Shawne Merriman?

Two of the league’s biggest names over the last half-decade are now available on the NFL waiver wire. Moss was officially released on Tuesday by the Vikings, while Merriman was sent packing off the injured-reserve list by the Chargers.

Which one would most help the 5-2 Chiefs as they head into what may be the toughest part of their schedule with five of the next seven games on the road?

There’s a better than even chance that neither one of them will soon wear the red and gold. The Chiefs might not get a chance at either since both players must pass through the NFL waiver system. With their 5-2 record the Chiefs slot is in the bottom third of the 32 teams.

But if both players pass through waivers unclaimed by any team, should Scott Pioli and Todd Haley immediately begin a full-court press to bring either, or how about both to Arrowhead Stadium?

Let’s look at the facts as we know them:

  • Moss is now 33 years old and in his 13th NFL season. Last year, he caught 83 passes for 1,264 yards and 13 TDs for the Patriots. It was three years ago that he caught 23 scoring passes for the Patriots, setting an NFL one-season record. This year with the Patriots and Vikings, he caught 22 passes for 303 yards and five touchdowns in seven games. He was traded by New England to Minnesota on for a third-round choice in the 2011 NFL Draft.
  • Merriman is 26 years old and this is his sixth NFL season. Throughout his career with the Chargers, he’s been hampered by injury, especially in two of the last three years. He played only one game in 2008 because of a major knee injury that required surgery and so far in the current season he played in three games, with one start. He missed time this year with an Achilles injury and a calf injury that sent him to the injured-reserve list last month. Merriman had five tackles in three games this year. After putting up 39.5 sacks in his first three seasons, he has just four sacks in the last three and none this year.

Both play positions where the Chiefs need a lot of help, with Moss at wide receiver and Merriman as a pass rusher. Both carry baggage of off-field incidents over their careers that have involved law enforcement. Moss and Merriman are seeking their next NFL contracts as well.

Money should not be any factor here for the Chiefs. They have had one of the NFL lowest payrolls for the last three seasons now, and without a salary cap, there should not be dollar signs standing in the way of claiming either one of these players. Moss is due another $3.2 million this season. Merriman has $1.75 million still coming to him.

Based on all those factors, Merriman would make more sense than Moss for the Chiefs and where the franchise sits right now. They could claim him and then spend the rest of the season giving him the once over and deciding whether he fits with the team. He would be injected into a defense with a coordinator that knows how to handle all types of players and his linebacker mates would include two of the biggest leaders on the team: Mike Vrabel and Tamba Hali.

The question with Merriman that must be answered is this – on the surface, it does not look like he’s been the same player since he was suspended for four games by the NFL for testing positive for steroids in 2006. This was not one of those tests where it was a diuretic or a supplement that contained elements that are against NFL rules. He’s urine glowed with actual steroids. He came back that season and had 17 sacks, and then contributed 12.5 sacks the next season. But he’s struggled since then.

It may also be that the knee injury he suffered at the start of the ’08 season that required reconstructive surgery has left him a shell of himself. Claim him on waivers and the Chiefs can eyeball him close up and see if he’s worthy of further investment.

As for Moss, here’s the No. 1 indicator on him – Bill Belichick released him. There are only two reasons that the NFL’s smartest man would have bounced the guy. Either Belichick was tired of Moss’ personality and attitude, or he did not see much left from him as a receiver. If it’s the first reason, then why would a team like the Chiefs that’s still trying to build a winning program disrupt the chemistry of the entire franchise by adding him? If it was the second reason, then how is Moss going to help the Chiefs and its offense? Getting a third-round pick was an outstanding move by Belichick, no matter the reason Moss was dumped. He could even come back and claim him or sign him as a free agent if the four-week vacation was enough to change his opinion if it was the personality.

Moss is what he is – a very talented receiver who doesn’t like to play the entire game of football. The next time he blocks on a running play will be the first time. There have always been moments in his game where he simply stopped playing. If he’s unhappy with the action he’s not getting in the offense, he doesn’t wait for time behind closed doors to make his thoughts known.

That is who Moss is and that’s not going to change no matter where he lands with his next contract. A Moss in his prime is one thing. At 33 years old and on the other side of his career, that’s another matter. There’s always a sliding scale for teams when they are trying to decide on picking up a player that’s less than perfect in his personality and behavior. The more he can provide, the more they’ll put up with.

Maybe the two years that Moss spent with Pioli and QB Matt Cassel in New England provides them with enough insight into the man behind the facemask. But right now, I don’t see anything that indicates that Haley wants to put up with a diva on the level of Randy Moss.

Would Moss help the Chiefs? Maybe. Would Moss hurt the Chiefs? Maybe.

So why bother?

NFL PERSONNEL FILE FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2

  • BUCCANEERS – placed DT Brian Price on the injured-reserve list (hip) ending his season.
  • CHARGERS – released LB Shawne Merriman from the injured-reserve list; re-signed OL Adam Terry.
  • COWBOYS – released LB Jason Williams.
  • 49ERS – placed G Eric Heitmann on the injured-reserve list (neck), ending his season.
  • JAGUARS – signed OT Guy Whimper; released LB Eric Alexander.
  • PACKERS – released DE Mike Montgomery.
  • SEAHAWKS - placed G Ben Hamilton on the injured-reserve list (concussion) ending his season; placed DE Red Bryant on the injured-reserve list (knee) ending his season; released RB Quinton Ganther; signed DT Frank Okam, last with Texans.
  • TEXANS – released DE Adewale Ogunleye; signed DE Tim Jamison off their practice squad.

12 Responses to “Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • November 3, 2010  - Butler says:

    we don’t need a BAD APPLE like Moss in our Locker Room period


  • November 3, 2010  - bhive01 says:

    Yeah, it kind of goes against Haley’s “right 53″ philosophy. Isn’t off-field behavior and locker room attitude why we got rid of Larry Johnson? (and Washington for that matter) Why pick up Moss if that is the case?

    Just not worth it.


  • November 3, 2010  - chris says:

    Bill traded him. Also remember Cassel’s connection with Moss. There was good chemistry. Still a reclamation project on both players. But worth the risk


  • November 3, 2010  - dan in joplin says:

    If you all remember Haley trying to explain the difference between a player w/ skill and a player w/ talent….. I think Moss would fit his idea of a skillful player but not a talented football player. THE GUY CAN CATCH A FOOTBALL, no doubt about it, but I believe the bad he would bring to the lockerroom would far out way the good. We NEED wr help bigtime, but what we need is a guy that can run good routes, with good hands and can BLOCK for the stars of the team, the RB’s!
    As for Merriman, I agree with Bob, bring him in and get an UP CLOSE look @ the guy, if he’s available that is. I have a feeling he’ll be snatched up quick.


  • November 3, 2010  - RW says:

    re: Merriman and Moss

    Each is like that foxy woman in the bar that looks good, talks the talk and would seemingly feel fine to have on one’s arm. Then the overhead house lights get turned on at closing time and all the imperfections are clear to see. There was a reason she came in un-attached.


  • November 3, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    Ogunleye I thoght had a decent game against the Chiefs…but maybe not..is he some we bring in and see what he has?

    IMO, Moss no, Meriman yes


  • November 3, 2010  - el cid says:

    As for Merriman, he has done nothing since he got caught on the juice. He is not even an average player without steriods. Assuming you want he legal, he cannot play the game anymore.

    About Moss, what a cancer. EXECPT we only have one starting WR, Bowe. Chambers has done nothing, Copper is special teamer, Tucker is no one. WE NEED AN 2ND WR, period. Why not use Moss for the rest of the year? Heck, give him a private dressing room so he cannot sicken the rest of the team. Do not let him talk to anyone within 50 miles of KC. If he wants a decent contract for 2011, he will play, PLAY. We need that player and he may well need us, at least until JAN 2011. Why not?


  • November 3, 2010  - el cid says:

    You all realize if Pioli had addressed the need for a veteran WR and not chosen to stick with just Chambers, we all could forget Moss. But no, now we are desparate for a starting WR to complement, the running backs Cassel, Bowe, and Moeaki. For all of you who say no to Moss, just where in the hell do the Chiefs get a passing attack as they get know as a team that only can run effectively?? I know we had one good passing game but it disappeared the next, remember? Who else is out there?


  • November 3, 2010  - aPauled says:

    Don’t think we need a veteran WR much less Moss. We need to develop a young burner to stretch the field. If Tucker, Horne, Lawrence aren’t the guys we keep looking.

    Merriman should get a look from the Chiefs. RAC can scheme for him (2 man fronts, etc) and see if there is anything there. The man is still recovering from the knee injury, so may need to some time, but the opportunity for the player he was is a worthy risk. Much more upside than Simoneau, although I would hate to lose this Northwest KS guy.


  • November 3, 2010  - Paul says:

    It sure would be tempting to bring in either of these guys, but then you disrupt the team chemistry that is already developing. As painful as it is for me to say this, I think the best course of action is to keep developing the guys you have. Plus, it’s like what aPauled said, “If Tucker, Horne, Lawrence aren’t the guys we keep looking.” You’re winning games. Guys are gaining confidence in themselves and each other. What does that say to the rest of the team if you bring someone else in? Plus, you might have that next great WR in the next draft just waiting for you that will cost you about $3M less than Moss will. I also don’t think we’re in that great of need at LB anymore. Romeo has these guys playing tremendously right now. I really can’t complain there.


  • November 3, 2010  - el cid says:

    Right again but how many passes has Tucker, Horne, or Lawrence caught in any regular season game this year. Heck, Lawrence has been cut twice and no one else wants him. Their total upside is that they have done nothing so far so if they can tie their shoelaces there is an up side.

    I doubt the Chiefs will mess with either guy. To much baggage. But our lack of a second WR defenses have to consider will bite us in the rear sometime this season. Here’s hoping “just not this sunday”.


  • November 3, 2010  - William says:

    Don’t even think about it.




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