Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Randy Moss trade may come back to bite the Patriots
New England shipped another superstar out of town this morning. This time they traded WR Randy Moss a sure hall-of-famer to the Minnesota Vikings for a third round draft pick. When my wife showed my the story last night I didn't pay much attention, when I turned on Sportscenter this morning I paid attention. Now it is reality.
Everyone knows how much trouble Randy Moss can be. The Patriots took him on in a controversial move in 2007 and got him for a 4th round pick. Since he has been here he has put up great numbers (23 TDs in the record breaking year of 2007) been a good citizen and has thrilled Pats fans (including myself) with his amazing catches.
This is his last year on contract with the Patriots. On September 12 after the Pats first win he made a controversial speech about how he was being disrespected by the organization and was disappointed that he hadn't gotten a contract extension. The situation did not look good then and obviously deteriorated from then on. It seems pretty clear that Randy wants a multi-year possibly three year deal. The patriots were baulking on giving him this extension and wanted to wait until after the season. It also seems that the Brady extension may have catalyzed Randy's displeasure and he wanted the same treatment.
I think we can all agree that a 3rd round pick for Randy Moss in 2010 seems on face value to be a ridiculous pick. But it seems as though the Patriots are not willing to give him a possible three year extension (for the money he is looking for) at age 33. The obvious question arises, 'Why don't the Pats just put up with an unhappy Randy Moss for a year, an unhappy Randy Moss is better than nothing'. If you look at his career numbers over 13 years in the NFL there have only been 2 seasons where he has had less than 1000 yds receiving. Both these years he played 13 games, a decent number right? But both these years were the last years he spent in Minesota and Oakland, years when he wanted out and basically dogged it. Whenever he wants to play he puts up big numbers. Now I know this is not the best character trait but when he is happy he will get the job done.
So if the option is that you can't put up with him for a year while he is unhappy then what do you do? Give him the money he wants? OK so his current contract was 3-years, $27 million which puts him in the upper echelon of WR salaries. You got to believe he wants something similar over the next three years. So the question is whether you expect top tier WR production from Randy Moss over the next three years.
If you look at the top WRs in the history of the game then only a few have been productive from the ages of 34-36. Now by I mean productive I mean around 1000 yds, 5-10 TDs, I think you should expect this kind of production for top tier money. I look at the list comes up with names like Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens, possibly Isaac Bruce, Marvin Harrison (for only one year age 34), James Lofton (maybe), Cris Carter, Henry Ellard, Irving Fryar, to name some. My point is it is possible to be very productive in this age range as a WR, it's just rare, but not without precedent. Now Randy Moss is a special talent we all know that. He has never had a serious injury and he has never missed more than three games in a season (see above). There is no sign that he is dropping in production either. I got to think that he can put up big numbers in the next three years. With Tom Brady in New England as well you got to think at the very least he will be a big threat. Therefore I also think that he is worth the extension. Now I now it's not the Patriot way and they have let guys go before who wanted big money and they dropped off their production. But I think Randy Moss will be like Jerry Rice and continue to be very productive in his mid-to-late thirties.
Is Randy Moss a prima-donna-pain-in-the-ass? Yes. Is he worth it, yes.