Terrence Austin happens to be a favorite on this blog and I was able to catch up with him last week for a great chat as he talked about his rookie year, life on the practice squad, his first catch, and the offseason.
However, he also touched on Santana Moss and the latter's potential departure from the Redskins. Moss is a free agent this offseason and Austin made no bones about the fact he wants him around in 2011.
"I would love to see him back and that's one thing I hope they can work out," he said. "I'm a little biased because he's been my favorite receiver since he got to [the University of] Miami."
Losing Moss from a production standpoint might be costly. He had a career-high 93 receptions last season and was one of the few bright spots on an anemic offense. He is an older player, but some reports indicate that he might take a shorter deal, which would be more conducive to the Redskins overall plans both financially and on the field.
Not only is Moss an asset on gameday, but Austin also revealed that he was instrumental in his development last season.
"It was an honor to get here and actually learn from him and I don't feel like I've soaked up all that I need to get from him," he told me. "You know, he has a lot of knowledge and a lot of stuff that he can show any young receiver coming into the league and I just don't want to lose him. I think he's definitely a big help to our program and hopefully we can reel him back in. I really hope so."
It's hard to find a player as committed to Washington as Moss is. He has played through injuries, led the receiving corps since 2005 and has displayed incredible professionalism during his entire career with the Redskins.
Hearing Austin speak about him with such respect, it's clear his impact stretches far beyond his own performance. He has been extremely supportive of the younger, more inexperienced receivers on the team and that selfless approach isn't often a common trait among talented wide outs.
The Redskins shouldn't hamstring themselves with a hefty, long-term contract for a receiver who is 31, but a two or three-year deal makes sense if Moss is willing to sign one. He can still be a threat while providing a guiding hand to players like Austin.
"I'm going to try to do whatever I can to try and help get him back if I can do anything," he said. "I love that guy. He was like a big brother to me the whole season."