Randy Moss says Jerry Rice is 3rd or 4th best WR Ever

Matt Engstrom Vikings Illustrations Vikings Shhh Randy Moss
Vikings Shhh Randy Moss - by Matt Engstrom

Randy Moss is the best and most talented wide receiver of all time. I wrote about that awhile back and the crux of my argument is that Jerry Rice benefitted from a new system (the West Coast offense) and playing the bulk of his career with two Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Moss? He changed how defense was played in the NFL while getting the ball from a ragtag group of has beens and objectively bad quarterbacks.

You can read my full argument here, but that’s not what my article is about today.

Adam Patrick of TheVikingAge.com covered this first, but Moss was on Terrell Owens’ podcast this week when the topic of who the best wide receiver ever was. As Patrick pointed out, it’s not surprising that Moss said that he thought he was. What was surprising is who he had second (and third).

Moss said:

“You’re talking to him. I put myself first, I’ll put T.O. second, and Jerry (Rice) is probably third or fourth.”

As Moss explained (and Patrick summarizes):

“Moss went on to explain that his rankings are not necessarily based on which guys accumulated the best stats during their careers, but they are based on the impact that each receiver was able to have on the sport of football.”

It’s hard to argue with Moss’ logic, which beings up a larger point. Perhaps this is two groups of people arguing two different things. Instead of arguing who the “best” is, we should clarify if we’re talking about who the most ACCOMPLISHED receiver is vs. who the most TALENTED is.

You can’t argue with Rice’s accomplishments, just as you can’t with Emmitt Smith. But oftentimes in the NFL a career can be made by circumstance, which is why no one considers Smith to be better than someone like Barry Sanders.

That’s the best comparison I can make. Smith is Rice, Sanders is Moss. Except wide receivers are obviously much more reliant on those around them (ie the person throwing them the ball) than a running back. So, it’s even more apt for receivers.

Either way, I’m super interested in who the third receiver is in Moss’ rankings. My guess would be either Cris Carter or Calvin Johnson, but who do you think?