Time is right for Ravens to consider risk (and reward) of adding Moss

February 14, 2012 | Luke Jones

If Moss was able to function so well under Bill Belichick for three-plus seasons, there’s no reason to think Harbaugh and the Ravens wouldn’t be the perfect environment for the veteran receiver. If Joe Flacco could withstand the ill-timed criticism made by Ed Reed the week of the AFC championship game and respond by outplaying Tom Brady a few days later, is Moss really that big a threat when he would undoubtedly be on a short leash?

At the first sign of trouble, you can always jettison him like the Patriots and Vikings both did in 2010.

Entering his fifth season with a long-term contract coming some time over the next year, Flacco is comfortable enough in his own shoes to welcome the challenge — and risk — of adding a potentially-volatile piece that could help take the passing game to the next level in 2012. In Flacco’s first few seasons, you would have worried about the potential harmful effect of adding a personality such as Moss, but that argument simply doesn’t apply anymore with the unflappable quarterback.

No one wants the passing game to grow more than Flacco, and even he would acknowledge the addition of Moss could add another dimension to the group.

Moss doesn’t need to be the 100-catch receiver of old, nor should anyone expect him to be at this stage in his career. If he can provide the height in the red zone the Ravens have sorely lacked as well as another vertical option to alleviate pressure off Torrey Smith, the Ravens will have a passing game ready to take them to the next level — to where they were so excruciatingly close this past season.

With an aging defense expected to undergo a number of changes over the next couple years and a quarterback seemingly ready to take the next step, the Ravens would be wise to at least kick the tires on Moss for the 2012 season. He’s certainly a more realistic option — both pragmatically and financially — than getting into a bidding war for a Vincent Jackson or a Dwayne Bowe, even if he doesn’t provide the same guaranteed return.

“You bring him to a team like Baltimore where you’ve got the Ray Lewises and Ed Reeds and the Joe Flaccos and Ray Rices, guys who are committed to doing things the right way,” Wyche said. “If he’s still got it, he’d be a good fit. He wouldn’t be a distraction there.”

It’s certainly a risk, but if Moss is up to the challenge both physically and mentally, it’s one the Ravens shouldn’t be afraid to take.