The Tennessee Titans passed on wide receiver Randy Moss once before, back in the 1998 draft.
The Titans claimed Moss off the waiver wire Wednesday, choosing not to take any risks with receiver Kenny Britt missing at least one game with an injured right hamstring.
Tennessee, then the Oilers, drafted Kevin Dyson with the 16th pick overall in 1998. They passed on Moss and said then it was because of concerns about his character.Now the Titans are 5-3, a half-game back in the AFC South with five divisional games remaining down the stretch.
They were the only team to put in a claim on Moss, even though they ranked 23rd among NFL teams in the waiver system.
Having the NFL’s worst record has at least one perk: At 0-7, the Bills took advantage of having first crack at acquiring Shawne Merriman, the one-time feared pass rusher, because waived players are awarded to the worst team that submits a claim.
The waiver pickup was made by first-year general manager Buddy Nix, who is familiar with Merriman. Nix previously worked in the Chargers’ front office when they drafted the outside linebacker with the 12th pick in 2005. Merriman won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award in ’05.
It’s unclear when the 26-year-old Merriman will join the Bills, who play Chicago (4-3) at Toronto on Sunday.
Nicknamed “Lights Out,” Merriman is a three-time Pro Bowl selection. In 60 career games, he has 431/2 sacks – but only four in his past three seasons. Injuries and both on- and off-field controversies combined to end Merriman’s tenure in San Diego.
Around the league
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice has been taken off the physically unable to perform list, allowing him to return to practice. Rice has been recovering from hip surgery in late August. The Vikings have up to three weeks to evaluate his progress before determining whether to put him on the active 53-man roster. … Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson returned to practice after sitting out more than two weeks recovering from a concussion. Robinson was injured by a brutal head-on hit with Philadelphia receiver DeSean Jackson on Oct. 17. … Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison called his meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “semi-productive,” saying he spoke his mind about the stricter enforcement of dangerous hits. Harrison briefly threatened to retire after the NFL fined him $75,000 for his Oct. 17 helmet hit on Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. Goodell requested the meeting with Harrison. “It was just for him to hear my side of things and for them to help me understand exactly what the rules are as far as helmet-to-helmet contact,” Harrison said. “So I spoke my mind. They said what they had to say. We had a semi-productive meeting, I guess.”