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The Early Lead
Posted at 09:49 AM ET, 02/14/2012

Randy Moss wants to play again, but where? New England?

At one point during Super Bowl XLVI, perhaps when Wes Welker was failing to catch a pass and Chad Ochocinco was active but virtually invisible, someone commented that what the New England Patriots needed was Randy Moss.

Well, they have their chance to do something about that, now that the wide receiver has announced, in an odd webcast on his 35th birthday Monday, that he was returning to the NFL after a year of retirement. (He continues to talk on Ustream.tv today.)

Although it doesn’t seem likely, there is plenty of residual regard between Moss and the team. When he retired in a three-team tour of the NFL in 2010, he expressed a desire to return to Boston and visited owner Robert Kraft as he sat shiva after the death of his wife, Myra, last summer. And, when Kevin Faulk returned from the Super Bowl loss in Indianapolis, Moss was waiting in his driveway.

The Patriots are attractive to Moss because of the return of Josh McDaniels as offensive coordinator. But along with his glittering 2007 with the team there was the 2010 season, in which his stats included career lows with 28 receptions and 393 receiving yards. Still, Moss is not unattractive to fans — in New England and generally: ESPN SportsNation and Boston.com polls show fans would welcome him.

“Randy and I have discussed [the options],” Joel Segal, Moss’s agent, said (via the Boston Herald). “He still has his fire and he’s looking forward to playing football. He’s excited.”

Cris Carter thinks Moss still has speed and ability. “The thing about Randy is, he’s never really been hurt,” Carter said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” “And he still can run very, very fast. I know he can run 4.3 today. I know he can still jump out of the bed and run 4.3.”

Carter also knows about the other side of Moss, addressing on “Mike & Mike in the Morning” the “elephant in the room, that thing called ‘quit’.” “When things don’t go well he has a quit mechanism in him that's huge,” Carter said, “and that needs to be addressed more than anything..”

There is that, despite Moss’s comment that he’s ready to go — “Faith, family, and football, that's my M.O., bro,” he told fans on his webcast.

One former Patriot thinks a New England return isn’t out of the realm of possibility. “He has a great relationship with Tom Brady, those two got along,” Tedy Bruschi said (via ESPN). “I think the Brady-to Moss connection was record-breaking during his time there. And also, with [offensive coordinator] Billy O'Brien now going to Penn State to be the head coach there, Josh McDaniels comes in now. He is ... going to be the offensive coordinator, and Josh was the offensive coordinator that got the most out of Randy Moss. ... Can Josh McDaniels bring that out of Randy Moss? It could be a possibility.”

Taking all that into account, is New England the best place for him? And why would the Patriots — or any team — take a chance on Randy Moss after 2010? Would you want your team to sign him?

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By  |  09:49 AM ET, 02/14/2012

 
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