What will Santana Moss' role be?

There have been a few posts in this space during the past few months that have questioned whether or not Santana Moss would be on the Redskins’ 2012 roster. Barring a drastic change in the situation you will not see any more such articles. 

In 2011, Moss had his worst season since 2002, when he was a returner and reserve receiver for the Jets. And then the Redskins added Pierre Garçon and Josh Morgan as free agents and have been talking up a bigger role for second-year receiver Leonard Hankerson. It appeared that Moss, a Redskin since 2005, and his $2.65 million salary could be gone.

Moss didn’t have to read tea leaves to see that his job was in danger. Mike Shanahan recounted a conversation he had with Moss earlier in the offseason. “We talked to him very frankly and said, ‘Hey, you’ve got to come in in the best shape as you get older.  Sometimes your skills will go down a little bit unless you’re in great shape.’”

So Moss got in great shape. He lost 15 pounds. With Hankerson and Morgan sidelined with injuries during most of OTA’s and minicamp, Moss took full advantage and developed good chemistry with Robert Griffin III. 

“He’s been impressive,” said Shanahan.

Where he will fit in when September rolls around remains to be seen. In discussing who will play as the slot receiver, Kyle Shanahan said he sees Moss as “one of the premier guys in the NFL at that position.”

But he also said that Morgan and Hankerson are “very capable” of playing the slot. So, do Mike and Kyle give the majority of the action to Morgan, the expensive free agent, Hankerson, the potential future star, or Moss, who is 33 and is unlikely to be around when Robert Griffin III starts to hit his stride? The answer seems evident.

But if the Redskins run 1100 offensive plays this year thee will be some 2800 snaps at wide receiver to be distributed among the group, possibly more if they run more three- and four-receiver sets. Moss likely will be able to grab a good number of this snaps. From the looks of things now, he should be able to make the most of them. 

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