Titans claim Randy Moss

Updated: November 4, 2010, 4:39 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Tennessee Titans passed on wide receiver Randy Moss once before, back in the 1998 draft.

Not again.

The Titans claimed Moss off the waiver wire Wednesday, choosing not to take any risks with receiver Kenny Britt sidelined with an injury. Britt is now expected to miss at least four weeks with the right hamstring injury he suffered Sunday, a source close to the situation told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

"Timing is everything," coach Jeff Fisher told The Associated Press on Wednesday night. "I really think the quicker we get him on the field, the longer he's here, the more productive he'll be. We think that he can help us, and I'm looking forward to seeing him run under those deep balls."

Moss plans to report to the Titans, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The Titans are expecting Moss to arrive in Nashville on Sunday night, ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen reported. The Titans have a bye week, and players are off after Thursday's practice.

If Moss were to change his mind and not report, Tennessee would send him a five-day letter and, at the end of that five days, the Titans would have the right to put him on the reserve/left squad list. Then, he would be out for the remainder of the season. Moss' status for next season then would be determined by terms of the new collective bargaining agreement.

The Titans were No. 22 in the waiver claim order, which is determined by 2010 win-loss records. ESPN.com's John Clayton reported Tennessee was the only team to submit a claim for Moss.

Concerned about Moss' character in 1998, Tennessee, then the Oilers, drafted Kevin Dyson with the 16th pick overall.

Fisher said the Titans did their "due diligence" on Moss. That included talking to Moss and former teammates like current Titans backup quarterback Kerry Collins. Fisher said Moss was excited about the move, and the NFL's longest-tenured coach with his current team isn't concerned that the 13-year veteran now is with his third team this season.

"Randy's been a good teammate, and he's very popular. I think this is a great opportunity for him. It's a fresh start," Fisher said. "We've got a great locker room. They'll accept him. I'm confident he'll accept his new teammates as well."

Moss can help the 5-3 Titans, who are a half-game back in the AFC South with five divisional games remaining. They have lost their past two playoff games, and Fisher said Britt, who hurt his hamstring in last week's 33-25 loss to San Diego, will miss the Titans' game Nov. 14 at Miami.

"Randy's excited to get back playing football," said his agent, Joel Segal. "He's ready to go and looking forward to get there."

The receiver already is being welcomed.

Safety Michael Griffin tweeted "welcome Randy Moss," and All-Pro running back Chris Johnson had been lobbying for the Titans to pick up Moss. Johnson shares the same agent as Moss and had been telling Segal how much he wanted the receiver in Tennessee.

"Why do we need Randy Moss?" Johnson said Wednesday before the move was announced. "You can't put eight in a box if you got Randy Moss out there on the outside. If you've got Randy Moss out there, you just can't play him one-on-one. I feel like Randy would be a great addition to this team, be a great addition to our receiving group and really help us go deep in the playoffs."

That's what matters most for the Titans.

Owner Bud Adams turns 88 in January, and this franchise's lone Super Bowl berth was way back in 2000. The Titans lost a wild-card playoff game in San Diego in the 2007 season, and wasted the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage in 2008 with a divisional-round loss.

Britt has the NFL's best receiving game this season, with his 225 yards and three touchdowns Oct. 24, and Vince Young currently is the NFL's top-rated passer at 103.1. But the Tennessee passing offense ranks 24th, averaging 187.6 yards per game.

"Randy is obviously a Hall of Fame player and has the ability to be a difference-maker for our offense," Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt said.

Nate Washington said before the waiver deadline that he didn't think the Titans needed Moss, defending the group of young receivers who have been working hard. He said Moss would be welcomed, but Washington is the receiver most likely to slide out of a starting spot once Britt's hamstring heals up.

This move will allow the Titans to put the 6-foot-4 Moss on one side with the 6-3 Britt on the other.

"I welcome him with open hands," Britt said. "It's a guy I can learn from being another receiver ... and he can definitely help with our offense."

Tight end Bo Scaife told Sirius NFL radio he is thrilled with the move.

"It's definitely going to open up for Chris [Johnson]," Scaife said. "And I know he's going to open it up for me as well. He plays on the same side as me so I'm looking forward to having him on the field, and I know everyone on our team is going to welcome him with open arms.

"He's accustomed to being successful, and all of us here are accustomed to the same thing. So we just want him to get in where he fits in, and let's go win this thing."

Moss is a relative bargain, due about $3.34 million for the final eight games this season. He easily brings the best résumé of any receiver for this team since it left Houston. He has 948 career receptions for 14,778 yards and 153 touchdowns, although his numbers have dipped drastically this season in his stints first with New England and then Minnesota.

He has 22 catches for 313 yards and five TDs in eight games. In his four games with Minnesota, he had 13 catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns, with the Vikings losing three of those four games to drop to 2-5.

Collins played with Moss for a year in Oakland, and he said before the waiver deadline that he never had a problem with the receiver.

"He was professional, respectful; he was a team guy," Collins said. "I think a lot of the stuff that you see and hear gets overblown. The guy speaks his mind. He's very truthful with what he says, and that doesn't always play well. He was a great teammate."

The Titans placed linebacker Jamie Winborn on injured reserve to clear a roster spot for Moss.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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