Randy Moss was living on the edge while the Patriots were thinking at the margin.
After weeks of uneasiness the Patriots solved the puzzle of Randy Moss, well more like sent it away for someone else to worry about as he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for a third round pick in next year’s draft.
It is difficult to call the move surprising (abrupt maybe) but it is hard for anyone to believe that nobody saw the writing on the wall, including Moss himself.
In the end Moss will get what he wants, a guaranteed paycheck after this season. Unfortunately for him what he gains in monetary compensation he may lose in sporting satisfaction.
Disregard the alleged heated arguments with coaches and fights with teammates as reasons for Moss’s departure. They are nothing more than fog to cloud the real reason for shipping Moss back to where he came from, that at 35 the Patriots had gotten all they wanted out of Moss and were not prepared to sign him long-term as he ends into down slope of his career path.
Look to the results on the field, what Bill Belichick values the most, and it was clear that Moss was quickly fading out of the picture.
Moss had nine receptions through the first four games of the season compared to the 29 he had last season by the same time. At that rate he was projected for 39 catches and 556 yards by season’s end, a huge drop off from the 83 receptions and 1264 yards of the year before.
Moss’s greatest fear had come true in New England, he wasn’t wanted anymore. Tom Brady didn’t even look in his direction Monday night except for a throw off a fake spike play that Moss lost through his fingers.
Meanwhile, rookie Aaron Hernandez is busy leading the Patriots in receiving yards with 240 yards on 18 receptions. The Pats had always been a tight end heavy offense but now the rookie will not only have to continue his excellent play but elevate it even further in Moss’s absence.
So Moss will had back to the team that gave him his start and a quarterback in Brett Farve that has coveted him since his days in Green Bay. Vikings head coach Brad Childress had better hope that Moss touches down in Minnesota motivated and with a new deal because if he is not happy it will be hard for Childress to goad performance out of his diva wide out, the evidence being his years as offensive coordinator in Philadelphia where he was that in title alone.
As for the Patriots, they don’t improve their chances either. No team gets better by ejecting a talent like Moss and the maxim of “addition by subtraction” is nothing short of a myth.
Though they have shown that they can have a competent offense without Moss they lose the attention that defenses gave him and on a more ground level that Patriots lose what little bit of a “wow” factor they had left.
There will be no more poster caliber pictures of Randy Moss making cornerbacks look silly and if and when the Patriots go down it will not be in a blaze of glory that would have been fueled by a character like Moss.