Trade to Vikings could rejuvenate Randy Moss…again.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 02: Randy Moss  of the New England Patriots looks on against the New York Giants on September 2, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Patriots 20-17. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Now that I’ve waxed poetically about the genius that is Bill Belichick, I should probably tackle what the Randy Moss trade means to the Vikings.

Three years ago, Moss wanted out of Oakland – bad. So he agreed to restructure his contract in order to join the Patriots, who had Tom Brady, a winning attitude, a Super Bowl-winning head coach and great fountain drinks in their player clubhouse.

In his first year with the Pats, Moss hauled in 98 passes for 1,493 yards and a whopping 23 touchdowns. His production dropped a bit in his second year with Matt Cassel at quarterback, but he still racked up 69 catches for 1,008 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Last season, Moss caught 83 passes for 1,264 yards and 13 TDs after Brady successfully returned from knee surgery, but following New England’s season-opening win over the Bengals this year, he said that he felt “smacked in the face” that the Patriots hadn’t offer him a contract extension.

Less than a month later, Moss is a Minnesota Viking again after the Patriots intentionally or unintentionally fazed him out of their offense the past two weeks. Whether or not he was starting to check out mentally like he did in Oakland is up for debate, but the bottom line is that he’ll be donning purple and white come Monday night (rhythms – they just make you feel good) when Minnesota travels to New York to take on the Jets.

Nobody will be more elated to see Moss in the same huddle than Brett Favre, who has looked every bit of his age during Minnesota’s first three games. Sidney Rice is out with a hip injury and Favre can’t seem to get on the same page as Percy Harvin or the rest of his receivers. But with Moss, he doesn’t have to worry about that.

Favre is a gunslinger by nature. He wants to chuck the ball up and have his receiver make a play, which is exactly what Rice did last year and what Moss will do the rest of this season. Moss wants his quarterback to give him a chance on every play, so the duo will work well together in theory (not unlike when he first arrived in New England and Brady targeted him early and often in games). He’ll also make Harvin, Adrian Peterson, Bernard Berrian, Visanthe Shiancoe and everyone else around him better.

As long as he’s motivated, Moss can be just as dangerous as he was earlier in his career. He still commands double teams and he still has the athletic ability to best defensive backs that are either too small or too slow to match up with him in coverage. If the Vikings show a commitment to him financially (and why wouldn’t they after they gave up a third round pick to acquire him?), then this could be another dream scenario for Moss.

Heads up, NFC North.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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.)

Related Posts