Will Santana Moss make the Redskins final roster? This is a question many Redskins fans are wondering, but are too scared to ask. Why is this? Possibly because many do not want to hear the answer.
Here, we tackle this tough question with some reasons he could stay, and some that justify him being released.
Should He Stay:
Nostalgia - But, but, but, Santana Moss is a real Redskin. Sure he came over in a trade with the Jets, but he's viewed as a Redskin in every NFL circle. He was with this team through thick and thin and DESERVES to go out on his own terms.
Production - Moss has spent the majority of his career as a number one or number two option. He certainly won't have that distinction this year, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better number five receiver in the NFL.
Versatility - Moss can line up in the slot or on the outside. He can also contribute on special teams, as a punt returner.
Reliability - Moss has developed quite a nice rapport with Robert Griffin III over the last two seasons. He understands coverages, provides a reliable target(even though he dropped a lot of passes last year), and can be a good mentor for the younger players.
Swag - Moss carries with him a bit of veteran swag. Who else on the team has the ability to spin a football after a 6 yard catch like Moss!
Should He Go:
Age - Moss turned 35 this summer. He doesn't have the deep speed that once made him special, and his hands have gotten worse over the last two seasons. Age is certainly catching up.
Production - Moss was not his usual reliable self last season, dropping some key passes in big situations for the Redskins. The additions of Jackson, Roberts and Grant will relegate him to forth or fifth on the depth chart at best.
Size - Moss has played at 5'10" his whole career, but the Redskins just brought in two guys who are 6'0" or under. If anything, this wide receiving corps needs some size, not another midget.
Younger Receivers - Keeping Moss(probably for just this one last season) could mean a younger wide receiver with some promise could be let go. It could also mean valuable reps for younger roster players are taken up by Moss - and for what.....for him to collect one more payday?
Moss has been pushed down the depth chart. He currently sits behind Garcon, Jackson, Roberts, Grant, and possibly Robinson. If the Redskins decide to keep five wide receivers, I imagine Moss would be the odd man out. This team needs to look towards the future, and Moss is clearly not in those plans. Aldrick Robinson and even Lee Doss have shown some ability this preseason, and I don't see a reason to take one final season of Moss, when you have a chance to develop some of the younger guys, who may have some future promise.
I also believe Niles Paul can find a role in Gruden's new offense, possibly as a hybrid wide receiver/joker tight end. With Paul on the roster, we essentially have our sixth wide receiver when needed. As well as the previously mentioned, Paul also provides the Redskins offense with a much bigger, faster option, who can also operate out of the slot, and act as a solid blocker in the run game.
I believe Moss will be a cut once the final roster is decided. He should have retired at the end of last season, but he wanted to return for that final swan song. The NFL is a business, and I believe the Redskins have to put personal feelings aside, and put their foot down, letting the league know they are no longer a retirement home for players past their prime.