Texans pass on Randy Moss, let AFC South rival Titans grab him
The Houston Texans passed on Randy Moss and now he gets the chance to make them pay twice this year.
When Texans owner Bob McNair and general manager Rick Smith elected to not put in a wavier wire claim on the game-changing, disruptive wide receiver, they likely didn't expect the division rival Tennessee Titans to snatch him up. But that's exactly what happened.
The Titans — already ahead of the Texans in the AFC South with a 5-3 record — grabbed the still Pro Bowl caliber wideout/Pro Bowl caliber headache for the relatively bargain price of $3.39 million for the rest of this season. That's a tiny price to pay for making the playoffs — and Titans coach Jeff Fisher clearly thinks that Moss can help get his team there, which would likely keep the Texans streak of never making the postseason alive.
Houston (4-3) already trails Tennessee (5-3) and the first-place Colts (5-2) in the division and in an AFC packed with power teams, it's unlikely that both wildcard teams could emerge out of one division.
Now, Houston isn't close to the only team to pass on Moss. Twenty one other squads could have claimed him before the waiver wire process (which gives the team with the worst record in the league the first chance and runs through the standings from there) reached the Titans. But after quarterback Matt Schaub and the rest of the Texans offense struggled to put up 17 points in a Monday Night Football loss to Indianapolis, that fact is unlikely to appease grumbling Texans' fans.
Moss very well could blow up the Titans. But it's more likely that he'll help shatter the Texans' dreams.
Houston still has two games left against Tennessee and now Moss — Nov. 28 at Reliant and Dec. 19 in Nashville. And Vince Young instantly became a better quarterback with this move.
Any team that wants to justify not signing Moss can point to his attitude and the fact that two teams (New England and Minnesota) have already gotten rid of him this season. Still, the Texans' decision rings curious.
The Titans are quietly citing the strength of their coach Jeff Fisher and the command he holds over the locker room as reasons why they're confident Moss will be behaved. The 33-year-old's desire to stay in the league would be another. Moss still wants to be paid. He'll adjust. This could be his last chance.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak is no wallflower in the locker room. He's benched tailback Arian Foster when Foster's tried to pull a star, I-can-show-up-to-meetings-whenever-I-want, act. Moss wouldn't have walked all over Kubiak.
Plus, this is a franchise with two starting players who've failed performance-enhancing drug tests, an organization that's stuck with the problem-child Foster when no other team gave him a chance. Why start drawing the line now?