He's Simply Not The Best
Randy Moss claimed at media day that he was the best wide receiver in NFL history among other quote worth comments. When you sign Randy Moss, you expect him to say things he shouldn't like that he's unhappy with his role on the team, but you just hope it's not during the week leading up to the Super Bowl.
Putting aside those comments, his statement that he's the best receiver of all-time is laughable. Who the best player at each position in the NFL is an open debate, except for receiver, that honor belongs to Jerry Rice and Jerry Rice alone. Rice ranks number one in career receptions (567 more than Moss), ranks number one in receiving yards (7,603 more than Moss), ranks number one in receiving touchdowns (41 more than Moss), and is the record holder for most catches, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns in Super Bowl history. He also has four Super Bowl rings to zero for Moss.
You know what is a shame though? Not that he thinks he's the best receiver ever, but that I think he could have been if he didn't take plays, games, and some full seasons off. Moss averaged 1,396 yards and 13 touchdowns over his first six seasons all while being known as a player who took plays off. Had he played hard on every play and in every game, what would his numbers look like? Then during the 2005 and 2006 seasons he basically took two years off and put up only 1,558 yards and 11 touchdowns combined over those two seasons. Had he not checked out over those seasons, what type of numbers could he have put up? After that he went to New England and picked up where he left off and during his full three seasons with the Patriots before being traded in 2010, averaged 1,255 yards and 16 touchdowns. Moss then checked out the following year when he was traded twice and then took all of the 2011 season off when he retired. His last season before quitting on the field in 2010 and then for good in 2011, he put up 1,264 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns at age 32. I don't believe Moss went over the hill from one year to the next, so what would his numbers look like had he not quit? He's obviously not the same player this year, but let's take his average season from his first six with the Vikings and first three with New England and put those over the 13 seasons before he retired last year. During those 9 seasons he averaged 1,348 yards and 13.7 touchdowns per season. Over 13 seasons that would add up to 17,524 yards and 179 touchdowns, putting him reasonably within reach of Rice's records, and that doesn't even include what he could have done in 2011 or this year if he knew he was close to breaking the record.
Moss is in my opinion the most talented and the most athletic receiver in NFL history and also the best deep threat, but he lacked the work ethic and discipline of Jerry Rice. He has no one to blame but himself. As it stands now, I rank Moss as the second best receiver of all-time with Terrell Owens a close third.