The big news last night saw the San Francisco 49ers close the deal with Randy Moss, inking one of the most prolific wide receivers in NFL history to a one year contract. A week after he worked out for the New Orleans Saints, Randy Moss came to town to work out for the 49ers and got a deal done before he could leave town. He caught some passes from 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh for 15 minutes before spending several hours chatting with team officials. Whatever was said, the two sides seemed content with it, and thus a contract was drawn up.
The question thus becomes, what exactly does all of this mean for the 49ers in 2012? During last night's conference call, Moss said the two sides had not really discussed his role. That seems a little odd, but it might also be that both sides know he is there to stretch the field, plain and simple.
Given the addition of Moss, one point of discussion has been what this means for the 49ers free agency plans. It is hard to tell what Randy Moss' upside is at this point in his career given that he is 35 and took a year off from football. He should not be particularly banged up at this point, so that's a plus. But his speed and physicality in getting separation are essential to his skillset. Will he still have those tools of the trade?
Last year the 49ers rolled the dice on free agent Braylon Edwards, and they crapped out. Edwards injured his knee and it was downhill from there. Combine that with the loss of Joshua Morgan and the 49ers had no real backup plan other than Kyle Williams, Brett Swain and Joe Hastings. We saw how that worked out.
As the 49ers get ready for free agency and then the NFL Draft, the key will be maintaining the focus of their plan before Moss became a viable option. While there is little downside to Randy Moss in a vacuum, when considering how the loss of Edwards impacted the 49ers last year, the 49ers will not be able to rest on their laurels with this move.
Given that the wide receiver corps currently consists of Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss, Kyle Williams and Joe Hastings, they need more bodies simply to fill out the depth chart. Morgan remains a potential re-sign, but the team will likely look to add two more players via the draft and/or free agency, at a minimum. They have Dontavia Bogan returning for training camp, but they will be looking for more bodies to compete and improve this group.
Randy Moss is a great addition based on the possible upside, but there is still work to be done. Business has picked up and it should only get more interesting.