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Chris Mortensen on D&C: Randy Moss griping not ‘Patriot Way’

10.06.10 at 8:37 am ET
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ESPN’s Chris Mortensen joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to talk about the rumored Randy Moss trade to the Vikings. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Mortensen said his sources are telling him the deal will go through Wednesday, and the analyst tried to explain why the trade will be made.

“I think if you just look at the DNA of the Patriots, from the owner Bob Kraft to Bill Belichick, and Jonathan Kraft and what have you ‘€” from Week 1 when Randy Moss decided to make a very clear statement that, ‘Yes, I want to be a Patriot but I want to be a contract but I want a new contract,’ that’s just not the Patriot Way, is it?”

Added Mortensen: “The contract thing probably was going to rear its ugly head more than one more time this year.”

Mortensen said there were signs on Monday night that Moss was being iced out of the offense, on a night when he had no catches and the Patriots posted a big victory over the Dolphins.

“Belichick was as happy as I’ve seen him,” Mortensen said. “Outside of the four AFC championship game and three Super Bowls, it’s about the happiest I’ve seen him look. And I think it was because, it was like, ‘All this work we’ve done, these young guys are starting to come around,’ combined with the fact that they had made a decision clearly a couple of weeks ago ‘€” especially when Minnesota got involved and they could not acquire Vincent Jackson ‘€” that Randy Moss was going to be out of town.”

Mortensen said he doesn’t believe the Patriots will in turn acquire Jackson, the suspended Chargers receiver, as some have speculated. He also said he didn’t consider the Patriots a Super Bowl-caliber team, but their performance on Monday bumped up their contending status.

“What I saw the other night, I said, ‘OK, you know what, of the top six teams or seven teams that I see as Super Bowl contenders, maybe I can still put the Patriots in that group at the bottom. And if you get young guys who get better, and Tom Brady is the best at what he does, and Belichick is the best at what he does. So, anything can happen.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Chris Mortensen, Randy Moss,

Report: Pats to get third-round pick for Moss

10.06.10 at 7:07 am ET
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The rumored trade between the Patriots and Vikings would send Randy Moss to Minnesota for a third-round draft pick, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The story quotes a source as saying, “I’d be shocked if it doesn’t happen,” and predicted the deal will go through Wednesday.

Moss, a seven-time Pro Bowl receiver, is in the final season of his four-year deal with the Patriots. He was acquired from the Raiders for a fourth-round draft pick prior to the 2007 season.

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Report: ‘Blockbuster’ Moss deal will happen Wednesday

10.06.10 at 1:48 am ET
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The Patriots and Vikings plan on completing a “blockbuster” deal on Wednesday that will send wide receiver Randy Moss to the Vikings, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Moss, 33, is a seven-time Pro Bowler who was drafted by the Vikings in 1998 and spent his first seven seasons in Minnesota before being traded to Oakland in 2005. Moss found new life in his career after being dealt to the Patriots in 2007 for a fourth-round draft pick ‘€” in New England, he set an NFL record with 23 touchdown receptions in his first season with the Patriots.

However, Moss, who is in the final year of a three-year deal with New England, has said on multiple occasions he does not feel wanted by the Patriots, and anticipates playing somewhere else in 2011.

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Three reasons why Moss trade works and three reasons it doesn’t

10.06.10 at 12:59 am ET
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Randy Moss back to Minnesota? The news from Foxsports.com that the Patriots and Vikings are reportedly talking about a deal that would ship the receiver to Minnesota is stunning on a number of levels, and raises several questions.

Here are three reasons a deal would make sense, and three reasons it doesn’€™t (plus an important afterword):

Feeling A Draft: Bill Belichick covets draft picks like few coaches. He views them as draft day currency which can be flipped to create any number of scenarios, and with the serious possibility Moss wouldn’€™t return for 2011, it would certainly be in the Patriots best interest to get something for him while they could. (It’€™s safe to presume the deal would involve draft picks, not players.) However, based on their team-building approach, it seems unlikely that even with Moss in the final year of his contract, the Patriots would settle for anything less than a second-rounder ‘€” especially when you consider that the Patriots would get a third-rounder as a comp pick if he did leave as a free agent ‘€” which would still be a steep price to pay for a 33-year-old wide receiver, even for a team that has a serious deficiency at wide receiver.

The Brett Favre Factor: In addition, there’€™s the deep relationship between Moss and the Minnesota quarterback to consider. The two have been close for several years ‘€” Favre lobbied hard for the Packers to swing a deal to acquire Moss in 2007, and had the following statement after the Patriots picked him up in a much-ballyhooed draft weekend deal in 2007: ‘€œThe last thing I want to do is start any [controversy],’€ Favre told ESPN. ‘€œBut I think he would have been a great addition. You throw Randy Moss, you throw Donald Driver and Greg Jennings on the field at the same time, and go three-wide receiver set … and I think it’€™s pretty intimidating. And we lost out on that, and I think that it’€™s a shame, because I know we could have had him.’€

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Read More: Bill Belichick, brad childress, Randy Moss,

Report: Patriots, Vikings still talking Randy Moss trade

10.05.10 at 9:04 pm ET
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According to Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com, the Patriots are in “serious” trade talks that would send Randy Moss to Minnesota. Glazer, appearing on Planet Mikey, said the two sides have been talking about a deal since the beginning of the season, and that the negotiations “heated up” Monday and Tuesday. A Patriots spokesman said after Glazer’s report first surfaced that “there is no trade.”

“These two teams have had talks about this for quite some time, however it really heated up yesterday and more so today,” Glazer said on Planet Mikey. (To listen to the complete interview click here.)

Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network, however, first reported that the Patriots have not given Moss permission to talk to other teams regarding a contract extension. Moss is in the final year of a three-year deal, and has expressed frustration over the lack of a new contract with the Patriots. Glazer first reported that the deal was contingent on Moss negotiating an extension with the Vikings, but backed off that premise when appearing on Planet Mikey for a second time Tuesday evening.

The wide receiver is coming off a game in which he had zero catches for the first time in his Patriots career, and has nine for the season.

Glazer said the following when first appearing on Planet Mikey Tuesday night: “What I reported on FOX is that the Vikings and the Patriots are deep in trade talks for Randy Moss, have been talking, this is not something that just popped up today. But today it really… it was about to get done and what they’re waiting on now is just a contract extension to get worked out with Randy Moss and the Vikings. If that gets done, it appears the trade will get done. But again, I’m reporting that the Vikings and Patriots deep in trade talks for a deal that would send Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings, again contingent upon a deal getting worked out for Randy Moss.”

To listen to Glazer’s appearance on Planet Mikey click here. For more Patriots coverage, see the team page at weei.com/patriots.

Bill Belichick on The Big Show: ‘Very satisifying for me’

10.05.10 at 7:29 pm ET
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Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined The Big Show Tuesday afternoon to discuss the team’s big win over Miami, 41-14.

“It was very satisfying for me as a coach to see our team have that kind of success after they worked so hard at it in practice and talking about it at meetings and so forth,” Belichick said.  “I was happy for them. They deserved it, because they went out and played a good football game ‘€” against a good football team.”

Belichick also expressed his pleasure in the special teams performance. He admitted that it was surprising that safety Patrick Chung was able to block two kicks but said the strong efforts of several players and the struggling Miami scheme made it a possibility.

“I think the preparation is good but you’re right as a former special teams coach you love to see those plays happen,” Belichick said.

Following are the highlights of Belichick’s conversation. To hear the full interview, go to The Big Show audio on demand page.

Any different role or assignment with Rob Ninkovich this week:

I think Rob just did a good job of reading the quarterback, getting a good break on the ball and showed good hands. Both of those catches were tough catches, away from his body and it was not like the ball was just right between the five and the zero. He had to make good adjustments on those plays and he did. I think the big thing was the he had a good read on the quarterback and saw him throw the ball and was able to jump the ball and get into the passing lane.

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Read More: Bill Belichick,

WEEI NFL Power Rankings: Week 5

10.05.10 at 3:30 pm ET
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A quarter of the NFL season is already in the books, and the Ravens are the latest team to reign supreme in WEEI’s NFL Power Rankings.

Arguments can be made for almost every 3-1 team in the top five to be in the No. 1 spot. The No. 2 J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets have looked like one of the NFL’s elite teams after opening the season with a tough loss at home against the Ravens. The Steelers, who fall two spots and sit at No. 3, will enjoy the return of Ben Roethlisberger behind center. The Saints and Falcons round out the “fabulous five” after both teams grinded out wins late in the fourth quarter.

Week 5 could be titled “The return of the suspended.” Roethlisberger isn’t the only big name returning to a contending team. Defensive Rookie of the Year Brian Cushing returns to the No. 7 Texans and the Jets offense will add another weapon with receiver Santonio Holmes, as he will make his debut in green.

Finally, just one undefeated team remains in the NFL, but there are four winless teams. The 49ers, Lions, Panthers and Bills are all searching for their first win. You can find those teams at the bottom of the barrel.

1. (Last week, 9) 3-1 Joe Flacco showed true poise down the stretch in Pittsburgh and led his team to a comeback victory. The Ravens defense is playing very well, as usual, and this Ray Lewis-led club has beaten two of the best teams in the league on the road in the Steelers and Jets.

2. (6) 3-1 It’s nice to be a Jets fan right now. Mark Sanchez is proving he can be a solid quarterback, LaDainian Tomlinson showed he has a lot left in the tank and, oh, yeah, Darrelle Revis, Calvin Pace and Santonio Holmes will be returning soon. Rex Ryan‘s crew is 3-0 in the division and heading into Week 5 with loads of confidence.

3. (1) 3-1 Pittsburgh is in a great position to make a big push to take the AFC. After four weeks without their Pro Bowl quarterback, the Steelers were a hair away from finishing the first quarter of the season undefeated. Now, Roethlisberger returns to an offense that ranks 30th in the league in passing.

4. (3) 3-1 The defending champs make big plays in critical moments, and that’s why they were able to pull out another close win. The tackle for a 4-yard loss on DeAngelo Williams followed by a sack of Jimmy Clausen putting Carolina out of field goal range is a perfect example of what championship-caliber teams do when the game is on the line. The injury bug has bitten the Saints this season, but once players like Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas and Roman Harper get healthy, I fully expect them to be defending their title come January.

5. (4) 3-1 The play of week came from Falcons wide receiver Roddy White when he made the Troy Brown-like strip of Nate Clements. Atlanta’s defense is putting good pressure on the quarterback and is forcing interceptions. The Falcons D leads the league with eight picks. If they can improve their play on special teams, the “Dirty Birds” can be a legitimate threat to the Saints for the NFC South title.

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Read More: Ben Roethlisberger, Brian Cushing, NFL Power Rankings, Santonio Holmes
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