Meadville Tribune

National Sports

March 13, 2012

NFL: Sources say WR Randy Moss agrees to deal with 49ers

March 13, 2012 7:00 a.m. SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Randy Moss is getting another chance in the NFL.

Moss is back after agreeing to a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said. ESPN first reported the move a day before the start of the free agency period.

Moss will fill a big void for the reigning NFC West champions. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club had yet to make a formal announcement.

The 35-year-old Moss worked out with the 49ers earlier in the day — and former NFL quarterback and current coach Jim Harbaugh participated.

“Jim Harbaugh makes 49ers veteran emergency board: Best coach’s workout in NFL history (especially while wearing khakis & a sweatshirt),” Niners CEO Jed York tweeted.

Moss, who worked out last Tuesday with the New Orleans Saints, spent a year out of football and last played for New England, Minnesota and Tennessee during a rocky 2010 season.

The 49ers can sure use him. San Francisco’s receivers managed just one catch for 3 yards in a 20-17 loss in the NFC championship game to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants at Candlestick Park on Jan. 22.

York told reporters earlier Monday at team headquarters his team needed “someone to stretch the field.” The athletic, 6-foot-4 Moss fits the bill.

The 49ers also are working to re-sign quarterback Alex Smith, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2005, and have reportedly made him a three-year offer. Smith’s representatives haven’t returned multiple messages seeking an update on the status of negotiations.

“Alex is trying to figure out what he wants to do,” York said. “There have been good conversations back and forth.”

If Moss proves himself during workouts this spring and training camp, he could be a viable deep threat that San Francisco hoped it had in Braylon Edwards last season.

The 49ers cut ties with Edwards in December. Joshua Morgan broke a bone in his lower leg Oct. 9 against Tampa Bay and later had surgery to have screws inserted and was placed on season-ending injured reserve. Morgan is expected to generate his share of interest in free agency.

Michael Crabtree, San Francisco’s 10th overall pick in the 2009 draft, had 72 receptions for 874 yards and four touchdowns in 2011. San Francisco went 13-3 and ended an eight-year drought without a playoff berth or winning record.

Moss’ best season came for the Patriots in 2007, when he caught 98 passes for 1,493 yards and a single-season record 23 touchdowns in helping New England to a 16-0 regular-season record. He has 954 catches for 14,858 yards and 153 TDs in his 13-year career, which included a stint in the Bay Area with the Oakland Raiders in 2005 and ‘06.

Moss has had more than 1,000 yards receiving in a season 10 times, second only to Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, who accomplished the feat 14 times.

“Randy Moss...he’s back!” tweeted Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino.

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