Alex Smith

Randy Moss signs with 49ers … is Peyton Manning next?

Your old pal BASG is wrong fairly often, but at least he’ll admit it. The only tradeoff is whenever it happens I’m liable to go third person.

I didn’t think Randy Moss was coming to the 49ers. He had a year off, and he wasn’t exactly a welcome veteran presence on the Tennessee Titans. Throughout his career he’s been known to take plays, games off. The 49ers also like receivers who block, and the guy my friends and I have called “Mandy Ross” for the past decade (not because we think he’s a girl, but because we spend an inordinate amount of time switching names like that; my favorites are Spori Telling and Spritney Beers) isn’t much on blocking.

Moss is now the newest San Francisco 49er wide receiver. Why? Here are some reasons we know to be true.

1. He comes cheap and almost commitment-free.

2. Even though he’s 35, he reportedly ran the 40 in 4.39 seconds in a tryout with the New Orleans Saints.

3. The Saints are supposedly pushing hard to retain Marques Colston, meaning the only elite free agent wide receivers left available are Mike Wallace (costly in terms of money and the future since the Niners would have to give their first round pick to the Steelers) and Vincent Jackson (who will probably be in the middle of a bidding war that includes at least three teams). All the other remaining free agents are second-tier producers and/or short.

4. Moss is a Hall of Fame talent who hasn’t taken a lot of punishment over the years. He’s played 16 games in 11 of his 13 seasons, missing only six games in his career.

Here are a couple reasons I came up with that probably have no basis in reality. However, they’re still fun to imagine, at least to BASG (sorry, I promise BASG won’t go third person anymore … damnit, I’m a lost cause tonight).

1. After playing catch with Jim Harbaugh, Moss told him, “Damn Jim, you throw a better ball than any QB that’s every thrown me a pass. Including Tom. Especially Tom.”

2. With Alex Smith not proving to be an easy re-sign, or at least not as easy as most observers figured, the 49ers might be going to Plan B.

From the Denver Post:

The Broncos are one of six teams who are considered alive in the pursuit of Manning. The others are Miami, Arizona, San Francisco, Tennessee and — surprise! — the Houston Texans.

Whoa, whoa, whoa … surprise — the Texans??? No, surprise — the Niners!

The smart money’s still on the 49ers bringing Smith back, but nobody truly knows what’s going on besides the 49ers’ brass, Tom Condon and Smith. If the 49ers don’t think they can get re-sign Smith at a reasonable price, isn’t there the slightest chance they thought they could kill two birds with one Moss? Moss shows that the 49ers are willing to get creative to improve their passing attack, and he comes at a price that allows the 49ers to make Manning a huge offer.

Side note: I flew into Phoenix this morning for Spring Training, and because I have a mental disorder I started scanning the AM dial once I got my rental car to see what the local sports talk scene was like. The first local show I heard, “Burns and Gammo,” were freaking out about Manning visiting Phoenix. My favorite part was when one of the two said that the 49ers weren’t all that impressive, and that if the Cards signed Manning then he was positive they’d win the NFC West and get a first round bye. Second favorite: one of the guys saying something like, “This week has the potential to be one of the best weeks in Arizona sports history, or the worst.”

With the Arizona Cardinals in the running to sign Manning — with one of their largest perceived advantages in the race to sign him the fact that they have Larry Fitzgerald — perhaps the 49ers are weighing their QB options a little more carefully now than they were just a week ago.

Just a thought. A thought that has nothing to do with a certain blogger worrying that a post about how “okay” it is that Manning isn’t coming to San Francisco will turn out to be completely incorrect. All this third-person stuff is exhausting.

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