Let's be clear. The decision to pass on Randy Moss wasn't about Billy Devaney and company sticking to a plan. If there was no room in the plan for established wideout talent, they would not have pursued Mark Clayton, Vincent Jackson, and Randy Moss in such depth. They wouldn't have studied "every snap Randy Moss played for New England and Minnesota this season," or spoken with every source remotely connected to Moss that the law allowed. It would have been an easy "no thanks" or "not interested."
No, the Rams spent every available moment doing their due diligence, walking up to the very precipice of a major leap in talent, before backing away.
Hearing Rams NOT putting in claim for Moss.
Big one. I heard Rams were "turning over rocks" on this. Must've found something. RT @Jay_Glazer Hearing Rams NOT putting in claim for Moss.
In the end, their reasoning was two-fold.
Reason #1: Fear
The decision to pass on Moss boiled down to a simple factor: fear of a bad outcome. What that specific bad outcome might be, we can only speculate, but clearly it relates to the quote-unquote development of their young quarterback.
@RamsHerd Rams have a lot of young players on team -- including most important guy -- so it's vital to do homework on these things for them.
Now, I appreciate that the Rams go through this trouble, and don't approach a situation half-cocked. They spent months doing their due diligence on all four players under consideration for the #1 overall pick, and settled on exactly the right choice. But today's homework apparently included a conversation between coach Spagnuolo and his good friend Brad Childress. We can only imagine how that conversation went.
Spags: "Hiya Brad, buddy, listen..."
Chilly: "Listen to me. Just say no. No, no, no."
Spags: "You haven't even heard my question yet, Chill."
Chilly: "Is it about Randy?"
Spags: "Well, yes..."
Spags: "Okay, then, thanks for your time, I guess."
Chilly: "Listen, I'm just trying to do you a favor. Oh, and speaking of favors, listen. If this Shurmur thing isn't working out for you next year, I might be, well you know, I might be looking for a new horizon, you know what I'm saying?"
-- Scene --
Following this line of thinking throws the door wide open to every characterization of Moss as a "cancer" or a "poison," and plenty of Rams fans who had sided against the wideout strode happily through with proclamations of relief. But there was another message being sent.
Reason #2: Trust
The primary reason to grab Moss would be to try to make a run at the wide open division this season. When the playoffs are in sight, you owe it to yourself and your fan base to pull out the stops and go for it. However, even in my enthusiasm for the play, I admit that there's not a strong possibility that Moss lasts here long term.
So the question is, do the Rams feel they need Moss to make a second-half run? Apparently, we have our answer.
I think this move sends a message to the team. That the front office is confident in what we got.
This sentiment was echoed by none other than the Rams' first-half MVP, Steven Jackson: "If you can add a talent like that, it would definitely help us. But if it doesn’t happen, we’re not going to lose any sleep about it."
We'll be looking at the Rams' second-half schedule later this week. But in the meantime, it's good to know that our guys are able to sleep well tonight, as the dream of Randy Moss in a Rams uniform slips away.