Moss trade proves that Bill Belichick is still smarter than all of us

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 26: Coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots reacts after defeating the Buffalo Bills, 38-30, at Gillette Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

I don’t know if it was coincidence or by design, but if it was by design it was a genius move by Bill Belichick.

Following the Patriots’ season-opening win over the Bengals, Randy Moss said he felt “smacked in the face” because New England hadn’t offered him a contract extension yet. Two days later, Moss appeared on SportsCenter and said that he wouldn’t be talking about his contract anymore because Belichick told him to “watch what he says.”

On Monday night in Miami, Moss was targeted just one time in the Patriots’ 41-14 win over the Dolphins and was held without a catch. A day later, he was dealt to the Vikings in exchange for a 2011 third-round pick.

This is where the coincidence or by design part comes in. Did Belichick purposely design his game plan so that Moss wasn’t targeted? Was he trying to prove that the Pats could win without their No. 1 receiver? Was Moss already starting to check out mentally like he did in Oakland and that’s why he was only targeted four times in the past two weeks? Because if the trade was by design, then Belichick is even smarter than any of us originally thought.

Think about it: this trade was shocking – nobody saw it coming. Why would the Patriots trade their top receiver with Wes Welker just 8 months off major knee surgery? Furthermore, does anyone question the deal now after New England put up 41 on Miami and moved the ball without Moss? (Granted, special teams played a huge role in New England’s win, but the Pats’ offense still had zero trouble moving the chains without Moss being involved.)

Consider this as well: the Pats acquired Moss from the Raiders for a fourth round pick in 2007. Three years later, they ship an older Moss to Minnesota for a third round pick.

I’m going to ask you to put on your thinking caps again for a second: it’s like Belichick purchased a used car for cheap, and then sold it three years later for more than what he originally paid for it, even though the car had depreciated. And don’t forget that part of the deal to acquire Moss from Oakland was that he had to restructure his contract. So Belichick got even more of a discount when the Pats acquired Moss from the Raiders three years ago.

Again, this may have all just been a coincidence. Maybe the Pats had intended on trading him since the offseason and once he complained about his contract, it offered them a window to execute the deal.

That said, everything fell into place too smoothly for it all to be coincidence. Belichick knew that the Vikings have been drowning without a receiver and that Brett Favre had begged the Packers to acquire Moss the same year the Patriots did. So what does he do? He targets the Vikings as the perfect patsies and then bends them over for a third round pick. (Moss may once again be rejuvenated once he gets to Minnesota, but he hasn’t given max effort since the season began.)

If that’s not genius (relatively speaking, of course), tell me what is. (Granted, some may argue that a genius wouldn’t have traded away his top receiver, but with the emergence of Brandon Tate and Aaron Hernandez, something tells me Belichick already knows he can make due without Moss.)

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