NFL: Moss ends 13-year career
The NFL roundup …
MANKATO, Minn. ó Randy Moss dominated when he wanted to dominate.
He scored when he wanted to score, cooperated when he wanted to cooperate and acted out when he wanted to act out.
Moss spent 13 seasons doing things on his own terms, which is why perhaps the loudest career the NFL has ever seen ó both in terms of the roars he induced on the field and the aggravation he caused off it ó ended so quietly on Monday.
No farewell speech from maybe the most physically gifted receiver to don a helmet. No tearful goodbye from a record-setting performer who changed the way defense is played in the NFL. Just a one-sentence statement from his agent saying one of the most colorful careers in league history was over.
ěRandy has weighed his options and considered the offers and has decided to retire,î Joel Segal said on Monday.
JETS ARE DREAM TEAM
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. ó LaDainian Tomlinson looked around quizzically when asked if this yearís New York Jets were the NFLís version of a dream team.
Tomlinson, who restructured his contract to help the Jets sign more players, then laughed and said the obvious:
ěWe donít have LeBron, D-Wade or Chris Bosh on the team.î
Still, LT wasnít dismissing the notion the Jets are among the Super Bowl favorites as the most unusual preseason in NFL history begins following the 41/2 month lockout. Nor was Jets coach Rex Ryan, who called this the best roster heís had since coming to New York, holding back.
ASHBURN, Va. ó His autograph cards in hand, 19-year-old Joey Partin was able to walk right up to the wooden burgundy railing and get a prime viewing spot for Monday morningís Washington Redskins training camp practice. No jostling for position. No need to elbow an interloper trying to steal his spot.
ěOh, man,î said the 19-year-old from Leesburg, Va., ěit used to be a struggle to get these spots.î
Thatís because the crowd was all of one-deep, if that. Where there once were claustrophobic clusters of humanity, there was instead room to lounge on a blanket or chill out on a deck chair. The picnic tables had plenty of places to sit, and there was no line at the hamburger stand.
ěIt is probably a fifth of what Iíve seen on a normal day,î said tight end Chris Cooley, whoís starting his eighth season with the team.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Still hoping thereís a chance he will play for the New York Giants, two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora is annoyed he is being portrayed as a bad guy for asking the team to renegotiate his contract.
In an email to The Associated Press on Monday, Umenyiora says he is frustrated some people are criticizing him because he wants the team to rework a contract that will pay him slightly more than $7 million over the next two seasons.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. ó Plaxico Burress realizes heís not 25 anymore. Or even 31 ó the age he was when he last played in the NFL.
None of that matters to the new Jets wide receiver. And, heís eager to show why no one else should worry about it, either.
ěI would say that when I step on this field Thursday or Friday, Iíll look 25,î Burress said as the Jets opened training camp Monday. ěI feel that good physically.î
TAYLOR TO DOLPHINS
MIAMI ó Jason Taylor seeks a few more sacks, and he plans to get them with the Miami Dolphins.
The NFLís active career sacks leader, preparing for his 15th season, signed Monday with the Dolphins.
He became a free agent when the New York Jets released him in March.
Taylor, who turns 37 on Sept. 1, spent his first 11 seasons with the Dolphins and has kept a home in South Florida. He played for Washington in 2008, rejoined the Dolphins in 2009 and played last year for their biggest rivals, the Jets.
Taylorís return to the Dolphins was announced on the Facebook page for his foundation. Hours later, he held a news conference at the teamís stadium before an evening practice there.
Former Dolphins teammate Dan Marino tweeted, ěWelcome back to Miami (hash)99.î
A year ago, Taylor had hoped for an offer to remain with the Dolphins, but he clashed with football czar Bill Parcells, who has since departed. Taylor maintained a good relationship with Miami coach Tony Sparano.
Taylorís desire to keep playing is driven in large part by wanting to play in a Super Bowl. Last year he reached the playoffs for the first time in nine years, and the Jetsí loss to Pittsburgh in the AFC championship game left him fighting back tears.
The linebacker-defensive end was also disappointed to have only five sacks in 2010. That increased his career total to 1321/2, which tied him with Lawrence Taylor and Leslie OíNeal for eighth on the career list. He played in all 16 games for the Jets, including five as a starter.
The six-time Pro Bowler holds Dolphins career records for sacks (124), opponentsí fumble recoveries (27), fumble returns for touchdowns (6), defensive touchdowns (9) and interceptions by a defensive lineman (7). His best season was in 2006, when he was the NFL defensive player of the year.
Taylor will provide locker-room leadership, and perhaps much more. Heíll likely spell outside linebacker Koa Misi in passing situations and line up on the flank opposite Cameron Wake, who had a breakout season with 14 sacks last year.
Conveniently, the Dolphinsí No. 99 was unassigned.