Yesterday the Bucs were fairly active on the waiver wire. Though they were reportedly mulling over a claim for the oft-troubled receiver Randy Moss, ultimately no team besides the Tennessee Titans put in a claim on Moss. Even though a future Hall-of-Fame player the caliber of Randy Moss could have added a very dynamic element to this offense, I think Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik made the right choice in passing on him.
A couple of days ago I tossed the question back to you about whether or not the Bucs should take a run at Moss, Bucs fans seemed to agree with the decision the Bucs made not to take a shot on him. Despite what he could potentially bring to a team, the Bucs are a young group with a very talented young corps of players. If Moss had been a consummate professional things may have worked. But the moment he stepped out of line he would put the entire chemistry of the young team in question. Jeff Fisher in Tennessee is the league’s senior statesman, the longest-tenured coach in the NFL.
For all of Raheem Morris’ strengths, I honestly don’t know if he could have handled Moss’ mood-swings. It’s probably for the best that the Bucs just continue to let Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams develop than trying to force and unhappy diva receiver into the mix.
The Bucs did however put in a waiver claim yesterday though, in an attempt to claim declining OLB Shawne Merriman. Fortunately, depending on how you look at it, the Buffalo Bills are much higher in the waiver order and were awarded Merriman yesterday afternoon.
I think the Bucs dodged a huge bullet by avoiding Merriman. For starters, since he got busted for using PED’s a few years ago Merriman’s production has dropped from double-digit sacks every year to barely factoring. He’s not the same player he was when he had the power of juice surging through his veins. As exciting a prospect as it is to fix the Bucs pass-rushing woes with one fell swoop, that wasn’t the swoop.
Merriman also comes from a 3-4 system where he was used primarily as a pass-rusher, he’s not nearly as talented playing the pass. The Bucs run a 4-3. In a 4-3 your linebackers have far more responsibilities than rushing the passer, Merriman wouldn’t have been an upgrade and he too brings considerable baggage to the locker-room.
The silver lining of course is that, at this point in the season a lot of “experts” expected the Bucs to sit near the top of the waiver order. Instead, at 5-2 the Bucs find themselves towards the back. That’s not ideal when you want to pick up a guy, but I know I’d certainly prefer to be 5-2 than 0-7 with Shawne Merriman.