Being fit doesn't trump the mind that's oh so prone to quit.
That, essentially, is how Cris Carter perfectly pegged the dilemma facing former Vikings teammate Randy Moss as he now attempts to follow through on Monday's announcement via Ustream.tv that he's returning to the NFL. (Note to Randy: One can't return if one isn't wanted. Right, Tiki?)
"The one thing you have to address with Randy Moss is not a conditioning thing," Carter said on ESPN's "Mike & Mike in the Morning." "It's not an age thing. ... I believe it's the elephant in the room. It's that thing called quit.
"And Randy, not like any other superstar I've met, he has more quit in him than any of those other players. So I need to address that. That's what [Patriots coach Bill] Belichick did when he brought him over from Oakland [in 2007]. He told him he wasn't going to have it. But Randy, when things don't go well, like no other player I've ever been around or associated with, he has a quit mechanism in him that's huge. That needs to be addressed before he signs with any team."
Like it or not, that's the unvarnished truth that shadows one of the best receivers and most confounding talents in NFL history. Moss quickly turned to Twitter to let Carter know he didn't like it. Not one bit.
Tweeted Moss: "@criscarter80, its sad how u stroked ur own ego when u were suppose to b my mentor!then u wonder why karma bites u in the [expletive]! #goodlukwhof"
The tagline was vintage Moss, whose wit, tongue and ability to deliver an insult remain as sharp as his football skills ever were. He knows that the pain of falling short of the Pro Football Hall of Fame for a fifth consecutive year still is a fresh and recurring wound for Carter.
Later, Moss tweeted, "Cc no matter I still luv u bruh,". But Moss already had delivered the lasting blow to a former teammate who simply articulated the obvious. After all, as great as Moss was, it's undeniable that he sometimes quit.
Moss started all of this on Monday -- his 35th birthday -- when he announced that he was coming back. His last season was 2010, when he was a shell of his former self with 28 catches while playing for the Patriots, Vikings and Titans.
"I'm coming to tear somebody's heads off, man," Moss said on Ustream.tv.
He also said he doubts he'd return to the Vikings. That's good, considering there's zero interest in a Superfreak III sequel at Winter Park.