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With Moss returning, Pats are the first team to watch

File picture of wide receiver Randy Moss, who is retiring, according to his agent on Monday

New England Patriots receiver Randy Moss yells from the bench in East Rutherford, New Jersey, in this December 29, 2007 file picture. Record-setting wide receiver Randy Moss was retiring after 13 National Football League seasons, his agent said on August 1, 2011. The 34-year-old Moss, who holds the record for the most touchdown catches in an NFL season and the most by a rookie, had considered playing on but decided it was time to call it quits. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL HEADSHOT)


Earlier this morning, receiver Randy Moss said he’s returning to football. And so the question now becomes whether any of the 32 NFL teams will give him a chance.

He’ll have to prove that he can still run, just like he did in 2007, when he showed Patriots coach Bill Belichick that he could still move incredibly quickly after two years of not doing much of that in Oakland. If, and given that he’s 35 it could be a big if, Randy can run, the Patriots could be the most obvious destination.

The Patriots, we’re told, still like him. As Peter King pointed out in August 2011, Moss made a surprise appearance at the home of owner Robert Kraft in the days after the passing of his wife, Myra.

If Moss can indeed still run, the Pats could have used him eight days ago. With someone who can stretch a defense deep, plenty of openings would have appeared for guys like Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, and Rob Gronkowski.

Whether it’s the Pats or someone else, don’t be surprised if teams line up quickly for a chance to kick the tires of a man who’s ninth on the all-time receptions list, fifth on the all-time yardage list, and tied for second (with Terrell Owens) on the all-time receiving touchdowns list.

Since Randy was a free agent when he retired, he’s not under contract. He can sign immediately, with any team.

We’ve got a feeling he won’t be signing with the Allen Wranglers.