Imagine this for a moment, if you can. Russell Wilson is taking the league by storm in only his second year after having been wildly overlooked in the previous draft, combining with Marshawn Lynch to lead the Seattle Seahawks on a 13-3 tear during the regular season and onward to victory in Super Bowl XLVIII, but it's not Golden Tate or Doug Baldwin reeling in most of Wilson's dynamic passes -- it's Randy Moss. What a sight that would've been, and it was almost a real thing, with the Hall of Famer recently admitting the team offered him a roster spot that season after wideout Percy Harvin went down with injury.
"The year you guys went to New York and beat Denver," the six-time Pro Bowler and four-time First-Team All-Pro receiver said to Wilson in a joint podcast appearance. "Listen, I had an opportunity, Russ, I had an opportunity to come and play with you guys. Listen to me. I had an opportunity. [General manager John Schneider] tried to bring me off the rack.
"Percy [had just gotten] hurt. I get a call. I'm working for FOX. I'm working out, but I'm not training. I stopped training three weeks prior, and I was training because I figured if a team wanted to pick me up for the playoffs, I would at least honor that.
"So he called an told me Percy got hurt and the guys would be ecstatic if you came through the locker room, so I said, 'Look man, it is an honor and I appreciate it. But I know I'm not physically ready.'"
Moss went on to explain that although he was mentally elated at the opportunity, considering he had already stopped formally training and officially moved on into retirement, he thought it might've done a disservice to Wilson and the Seahawks to join the team.
"The passion I have for the game and for my teammates -- I didn't want to come in knowing I wasn't ready," the Hall of Fame wide receiver said. "No matter what my role would have been. As much as I would want to have a Super Bowl ring, I wasn't chasing one, and the cat never got out of the bag because I didn't really want to entertain it."
Needless to say, although smiling on the outside, Wilson was crushed on the inside.
"My heart hurts," said the Seahawks quarterback. "I wish somebody would have told me. We would've made this happen. ... Now I'm going to have dreams of playing with Randy Moss in my lifetime."
Moss went on to immortalization in Canton, OH after racking up 15,292 receiving yards and 156 receiving touchdowns, and Wilson may never have another peaceful night of sleep knowing how scathingly close he was to adding to those tallies. And for those who believe Moss may just be having a little fun, it would behoove you to keep in mind he came out of retirement the year prior to join Seattle's division rival -- the San Francisco 49ers -- before hanging up his cleats a second and final time.
If Schneider had called three weeks sooner, before Moss stopped training, Wilson's dream would've come true.