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Randy Moss is a "Free Man"

Earlier today, reported that Patriots' wide receiver Randy Moss recently parted ways with his agent, Tom DiPiero.

Per the reader/tipster, Moss currently is looking for a new agent. Under NFLPA rules, five days must pass after the termination before a new agent is hired.

Earlier this year, Patriots receiver Randy Moss made it known that he doesn't expect the Patriots to sign him to a contract extension.

It could be that he will be enlisting a new agent to help him try to get a new deal done. Moss is entering the final year of his contract, during which he's due to earn a base salary of $6.4 million.

A reader/tipster advised us earlier today that Moss has filed the paperwork necessary to sever ties with Tim DiPiero, who has represented Moss since his career began in 1998. We've indirectly confirmed the development via the absence of Moss on the comprehensive list of players and agents available on the NFLPA website. Traditionally, active players who are without agents are omitted from the list.

When the story was released by PFT, there were conflicting reports whether or not Moss will even look to hire a new agent, or if Moss will simply represent himself. Then, at around 4 PM this afternoon, Ian Rapoport of the Herald posted a story recapping a conversation he had with Moss, essentially explaining the situation at hand, saying that he is a "free man" looking for a new agent:

To all the agents out there, I am a free man! I am looking for a new agent. I got this football thing under control, but going into my 13th year in the league, I'm still marketable. I'm looking for an agent that's going to get me out there with my marketing ability. I can shoot commercials. That's what I'm looking for right now; that off-the-field money. I really wasn't into commercials, because I wanted to concentrate on one objective, being a better football player year-in and year-out. Now, late in my career, I'm still thinking I have some marketing opportunities out there. I need an agent or agency that's going to get out there and find those business deals off the field

More quotes and analysis after the Jump!

A couple of more nuggets from Moss via Rapoport:

"The way it was brought to my attention was that it seemed like I'm retiring soon. I have no intention of retiring soon. What I did with firing an agent was, I thought time had run out. There were some things that couldn't be done that needed to be done."

"I wanted to let fans know, this is my year. I'm going to play the year, I'm not coming in to start any conflicts or be disgruntled. I don't think I'm realistically in the future plans of the Patriots. But if the New England Patriots don't want me in their future, (it's a business). I understand."

What we can take from all of this:

Moss knows he is at a critical point of his career. He is 33, and realistically only has three, maybe four more years of productive football left in him. Even with age catching up to him, he was still, at times, dominant in 2009, despite being hampered by injuries. And despite the injuries, he still has yet to miss a game in his three year career with the Patriots. I have a feeling Moss could have a huge year in 2010. It likely won't match the production Moss saw in 2007, but with some good red zone targets added in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, Moss could see less red zone coverage. He can still fly as well. Tom Brady will also be another year removed from his torn ACL.

All of this comes at a critical time: Randy Moss is entering the final year of his three year contract he signed following the team's 2007 season. He is still marketable, and would like to stay in New England although he knows it probably isn't realistic. The reason I say it's not realistic is because Moss has to be third in line when it comes to Patriots' contract priorities. Tom Brady is obviously #1, and I would say Logan Mankins checks in at number two. With Moss turning 34 before next season, he will be looking for one more big contract, and the franchise tag is certainly not an option for Moss.

Could Moss' search for a new agent be directly tied into his desire to remain in New England? Maybe. However, after hearing Moss speak, I think his search for a new agent comes more from the reasons I outlined above; Moss is entering the final crossroads in his career, and wants to make sure he can maximize his potential.