It would have been easy for Bears general manager Jerry Angelo and coach Lovie Smith to claim seven-time Pro Bowl receiver Randy Moss off waivers Wednesday.
Even at 33, Moss still commands double teams, which would empower Devin Hester, Johnny Knox and every other offensive player. Despite his assorted issues, Moss caught 83 balls for 1,264 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, pretty impressive for what was considered an average year for him.
Angelo and Smith could have justified the decision to sign Moss in any number of ways.
The Minnesota Vikings showed their desperation last month, when they traded a third-round pick to the New England Patriots for Moss, only to dump him on Tuesday.
Now, though, the Bears -- or any of the other 20 teams ahead of the Tennessee Titans on the waiver claim priority list -- would have only been on the hook for about $3 million.
If Moss were being a pain, a club could dump him and even hope another club picked him -- and the remainder of his contract -- up for the duration of the 2010 season.
So why did Angelo and Smith pass?
I suspect part of it has to do with the fact that Moss has a contract that runs out at the end of this season. It's abundantly clear that one of his issues with the Patriots was the lack of a contract extension, so any team that gets him would be renting him for the rest of the season than needing to make a big contract offer to keep him.
Given the lack of cohesion on offense, the Bears may have opted to not bring in a high-profile, high-maintenance player like Moss for such a short period of time.
Sure, players like Brian Urlacher and Jay Cutler might be happy with the move. But how would someone like Hester, Knox and Greg Olsen feel about it? Besides, like they did with Alex Brown, the Bears want to give their younger players a chance to shine. Israel Idonije has done a very solid job, although the Bears need someone else to emerge and provide some more reliable depth.
The Bears haven't made the playoffs the last three seasons. But Smith and Angelo resisted the temptation to think short-term by signing Moss.
Was that the right decision? Who knows for sure. Moss may be a hit in Nashville, but he may not have been someplace else.
Check out my column on him.
Feel free to weigh in.