Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden is making his mark on the receiving corps; will Santana Moss be included? At first thought, one might think the 35 year old veteran doesn't have a chance to beat out the likes of Ryan Grant, Leonard Hankerson, or Aldrick Robinson. All of those guys are younger, bigger, or faster than Moss. It's not always about being the biggest or the fastest, though. One thing that these youngsters lack is leadership.
Sure, Moss is pretty much ancient in football years, but he can still serve a purpose on this team. Just because he doesn't put up 1,000 yard seasons anymore doesn't mean he can't contribute. Moss's age and experience in the NFL will help him lead a young and talented offensive unit. He can be the glue that holds the team together through tough situations. Besides, the team doesn't expect him to be a superstar, because they already have talented receivers such as Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson.
Also helping Moss's case is the fact that, even though he is getting up there in age, he is still putting up better statistics compared to his younger competitors. In 2013, Moss racked up 452 yards and 2 touchdowns. Leonard Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson both came close to that, but fell short with 375 yards and 3 touchdowns, and 365 yards and 2 touchdowns, respectively. To put it in simpler terms, Moss has the edge over these two for now. Hankerson is frequently injured and seems to have a case of the dropsies from time to time, and Robinson is considered a one trick pony by some.
Recently, Jay Gruden has even said that "Santana Moss can still help the team win games and is having an excellent offseason." This statement is a pretty strong indication of Moss's future with the Washington Redskins. Of course, nothing is ever set in stone in the NFL, but it seems as though Gruden enjoys Moss's presence, and is comfortable with him being on the final roster.
It is safe to assume that Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, and Andre Roberts will be making it past final cuts, but the remaining spots after that are up for grabs. More than likely, the Redskins will carry six Receivers. Three of those spots are already taken up by Garcon, Jackson, and Roberts. Who will be the final three to make the roster? The competition will ultimately come down to Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Aldrick Robinson, and the rookie Ryan Grant. Like previously mentioned, Leonard Hankerson is often injured and isn't consistent, so he could very well be the odd man out in this picture.
Despite having a lackluster season in 2013 (like the rest of the 2013 Redskins players with the exception of a few), the pros still outweigh the cons for Santana Moss. In the event of an injury occurring (let's pray this doesn't happen), Moss will be able to step in and be effective as a slot receiver like he has done so many years prior to this.
Moss has definitely lost a step in his game. He isn't the same player he used to be, but the fans still love him and he is willing to give everything he's got even when he's being paid the veteran minimum. If he can continue to impress during the Offseason and Preseason, expect to see number 89 playing for the burgundy and gold one more year...