In the wake of Randy Moss' retirement, much debate has ensued over whether the controversial wide receiver's accomplishments warrant entry to the Hall of Fame.
Few will contest Moss' physical ability, but Jerry Rice — widely regarded as the greatest receiver of all time — believes that Moss did not nearly play up to his potential, and that his lack of work ethic held him back from being one of the all-time greats.
"He could have been one of the greatest if he had worked just a little bit harder," Rice told ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike in the Morning on Tuesday. "I don't think he wanted to give it 100 percent. You never knew what you were going to get with Randy. Sometimes you'd get the unbelievable guy, the amazing guy. Other times you'd get the guy that took a couple plays off."
Rice, a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee in 2010, said that he became successful through hard work rather than raw talent, and found it somewhat offensive to see Moss squander his natural gifts.
"It was hard for me to swallow because I was not as talented and I had to work harder," Rice said. "To see a guy with that much talent not give it 100 percent, it was almost like a little slap in the face. But Randy was Randy."
Rice holds nearly every NFL receiving record, including most career receptions, receiving touchdowns and receiving yards. Moss holds the record for receiving TDs in one season, his 23 in 2007 edging Rice's 22 in 1987.
Moss retires ranked second in career receiving TDs, fifth in receiving yards and eighth in receptions.
Those numbers alone appear to be those of a sure-fire Hall of Famer, but the fact that Moss left everyone wanting more may hurt his case for Canton.