|10.06.10 at 2:32 pm ET|
|10.06.10 at 1:51 pm ET|
Former Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown was a guest on the Dale & Holley show on Wednesday morning to analyze the Randy Moss trade to Minnesota. Brown believed that Moss wanted to stay in New England, but said “at the end of the day, he chose the business side of things.”
Talking about how the Patriots would proceed without Moss, Brown said “It may take a little getting use to.” He also believes that tight end Aaron Hernandez is the key and described the rookie as a “multi-tasking guy who can do a lot for this football team.” Brown concluded that the Patriots will play a lot like they did through the earlier part of the last decade.
Despite how the trade looks on paper, the Patriots Hall of Fame receiver didn’t think it would take the Patriots out of the mix for a Super Bowl appearance this season. As for the timing of the trade, Brown was optimistic saying “the best thing that could have happened for this team is that they have a bye week.”
|10.06.10 at 1:35 pm ET|
Peter King of Sports Illustrated, SI.com and NBC Sports joined the Dale & Holley Show on Wednesday to break down the deal sending wide receiver Randy Moss from the Patriots to the Vikings. King said that while he gives the Patriots the benefit of the doubt in their roster decisions, he had concerns about what might happen to their offense without the Pro Bowler.
“I really worry about their offense if they don’t figure out a way to get some of the pressure away from the young players who they need to make plays – Aaron Hernandez and Brandon Tate,” said King. “We’ll never know this for sure, [but] the Patriots just had to be fed up with Moss in some ways to make this happen. Clearly, even if he for some reason is not the player that he has been for some reason, he still drags Vontae Davis, one of the best corners in football, he still drags Vontae Davis away from the rest of the players, because Vontae Davis and the Miami Dolphins respects Moss enough to be a huge deep threat.”
King also said that:
–He believes the Patriots tried but failed to acquire a second-rounder for Moss.
–The trade had been in the works for a while, with Vikings head coach saying the two sides had been talking for 7-10 days.
–He feels that the Patriots’ offensive priorities had shifted away from Moss, as seen in the fact that the wide receiver had been targeted half as many times (22) through four games as he was through the first four games of 2009 (44).
–King does not believe that Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, currently holding out, will be dealt to the Patriots.
A complete transcript is below. To listen to the interview, click here.
Everyone seems shocked. Are you?
I’m shocked, too. I think we’re all shocked. I think the biggest shock is that nobody saw it coming. I just got off the phone a few minutes ago with [Vikings head coach] Brad Childress. One of the things he said was that this has been going on for a little while, he said seven to 10 days. I don’t think this was simply done based on what happened Monday night.
Was Moss a problem child?
I don’t know if it’s right to say he was a problem child. Has Bill Belichick ever been more gracious and not only welcoming but almost forgiving for some of the dumb things Moss said over the years, especially on this Monday night thing, ‘Oh, I love coaching Randy,’ or whatever it is he said. He’d never let on publicly that he’d be ticked off at Moss when in reality, how could you not be ticked off at Moss when he said such stupid things after the opening game of the season, after a huge team win? I’ve heard some of that stuff, in the past 15 hours or so. How much of that is true and how much is convenient I’m not sure. But I feel that there was some sense within the Patriots that we got 52 guys who are all in, and we’ve got one who gets ticked off if he doesn’t catch enough balls.
Are there teams in the NFL who might have given more than a third-rounder?
What team in the NFL would give the New England Patriots a second-round draft choice for a 33-year-old receiver who is in the last year of his contract. There’s labor uncertainty and he’s going to want to make $10 million a year, minimum, starting next year. I think you’re overrating his value in an era when draft picks are going to be more golden than ever, when in 2011, most likely, there’s going to be a salary structure in which, if you have the 38th pick in the draft, you know precisely how much it’s going to cost, and it’s going to cost less than it has been costing.
So a third-rounder is pretty good return?
Well, it depends. I think the value is not bad. But the question is – and this is a question I can’t answer and none of us can – did the New England Patriots, it strikes me that we’ll never know this for sure, the Patriots just had to be fed up with Moss in some ways to make this happen. Clearly, even if he for some reason is not the player that he has been for some reason, he still drags Vontae Davis, one of the best corners in football, he still drags Vontae Davis away from the rest of the players, because Vontae Davis and the Miami Dolphins respects Moss enough to be a huge deep threat. That’s where this is all going to happen. I said last night, it’s clear that the Patriots’ aerial priorities have changed. The first four games last season, Randy Moss was targeted by Tom Brady 44 times. The first four games this season, 22 times. So you can’t tell me they look at him the same this year, and every week it’s a different gameplan. I wouldn’t buy that.
Was Moss’ possible unhappiness and Belichick’s desire to change last year’s culture of complaint in the locker room a big issue?
I think that clearly had to have something to do with this. No question about it. You’re not going to trade a guy who takes defensive coverage away from you if you think he’s an Eagle Scout and all-for-one, one-for-all, in my opinion. I think the other thing, I wrote this the other day, there’s something to, the Patriots, that game Monday night, reminded me so much of a Patriots win in 2001. When you look at the box score the next day and it’s not the big heroes – even though there weren’t many big heroes on that team – they were all heroes. When your only running back that anybody’s ever heard of, Sammy Morris, runs for three yards, when Wes Welker doesn’t catch a touchdown pass and Randy Moss doesn’t catch a pass and you score 41 points, I think that would tend to make the Patriots believe that the Three Musketeer way works the best for us, when nobody worries about who’s getting the credit.
Do you like this deal?
I don’t love this deal. I would have really loved this deal if they’d gotten a [second-round pick]. In fact, I believe they were trying hard to get a two, but didn’t. I don’t love the deal because the way I look at it is, we’re probably talking about – I’m going to guess, because none of us know – we’re probably talking about the 80th pick in the draft next year. It isn’t that you can’t get a really good player. Of course you can.
But if the Patriots are plagued offensively, if Wes Welker is all of a sudden blanketed catching three balls in a game instead of seven, and if Brandon Tate is getting shut down instead of becoming the emerging receive that they hoped he’d be, then you’re looking back and saying, ‘We probably should have been able to hold our noses and take Randy Moss for the next three months.’ But again, you and I are not in there. We don’t know, deep inside the walls, whether Moss had become a huge distraction or whether they just felt like we had reached the point of diminishing returns with him as a football player. those are the things that, because the Patriots hide their business so well, we don’t know. On the surface, I tend to give the Patriots credit because they’re a very smart team. I tend to give the Patriots credit and the benefit o the doubt.
But the short answer is, I really worry about their offense if they don’t figure out a way to get some of the pressure away from the young players who they need to make plays – Aaron Hernandez and Brandon Tate.
Belichick said in the press release that he’s been talking with Moss and his agent for some time.
Clearly, after the first game of the season, we know that Belichick met with Moss. I’m sure from Belichick’s inference in that release, he and Moss and [agent] Joel Segal met at some point in the offseason in which they said, ‘Pay me, and I want to know my role for the future,’ and all that stuff.
Look, I think in this economy and this world and this life, Moss got his contract from the Patriots. He got $27 million, $14 million guaranteed, over three years after his transcendent season in 2007. He gave the Patriots good value for that $27 million. The Patriots gave him a platform to rebuild his career as a premier receiver and probably a first-ballot Hall of Fame receiver, although I’m loathe to use that term because it’s too presumptuous. But again, I am not a big fan of players who are making $9 million, whether they’re producing at that level or not, when they’re 33 years old, and are crying for more money. It’s stupid. It’s dumb. To me, that was Randy Moss’ ticket out of town.
Will Vincent Jackson head here?
I doubt that. It just doesn’t seem like it’s the Patriot way, especially because of his baggage, but I guess you never know, if he’s cheap enough. I just don’t think he’s going to be cheap enough. Do you want to trade a better draft choice for a player than you got for Randy Moss? Do you want to trade a better draft choice, and then maybe a better draft choice and something else, and not be sure if he’s going to be a player long-term for you? He’s got two strikes against him in the NFL substance program. He’s got two DWIs. So I think that’s something that’s fraught with risk.
|10.06.10 at 12:59 pm ET|
Earlier on Wednesday, the Patriots made their official announcement on the Randy Moss trade. Now, the Vikings have done the same, welcoming home the receiver who starred for them from 1998 through 2004.
“We feel very good about the opportunity to add a player of Randy Moss’ caliber to this football team,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said in a statement provided by the team through its website. “He is a tremendous competitor and was an integral member of the Vikings organization from 1998-2004. Once again, ownership was completely supportive of our efforts to add a valuable football player to our team. I know the entire organization is thrilled to welcome him back to the Twin Cities and look forward to his contributions.”
Moss returns to a place where he enjoyed great success as a younger player, compiling six 1,000-yard seasons with Minnesota. The Vikings have had serious issues at wide receiver all season — Sidney Rice is out at least six weeks with a hip injury, and Percy Harvin continues to battle migraine issues. As a result, Minnesota and quarterback Brett Favre have struggled, losing two of their first three games.
|10.06.10 at 12:53 pm ET|
According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, multiple sources have suggested that Randy Moss had become a major distraction in the Patriots locker room, leading to the Pats’ dealing of the wideout to Minnesota for a third-round pick. Florio quotes one source as saying Moss “was pissing [coach] Bill [Belichick] off at every turn. Another source said that players had become increasingly more frustrated with Moss. To read the complete story click here.
|10.06.10 at 12:46 pm ET|
According to Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, according to NFL sources, the other piece to the Vikings-Patriots trade that sends Randy Moss to Minnesota is that the Vikings will get New England’s seventh-round pick in 2012.
|10.06.10 at 12:30 pm ET|
Without Randy Moss in the lineup, expect the Patriots to lean heavily on second-year wide receiver Brandon Tate and rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez when it comes to replacing Moss’ presence in the vertical game. It’s a relatively small sample size, but the two youngsters are the only two pass-catchers currently on the roster who can replicate the yards per catch average that Moss was able to bring to the table.
But while New England will still be a pass-first offense, the deal could signal an overall change in the way the Patriots offense operates. Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders suggests that, for now, the speedy Tate will take over the role of “designated deep threat.” But with Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski and Alge Crumpler, New England fans should look for an offense that more resembles the one the Patriots ran in the earlier part of the decade.
“While Brandon Tate will probably be the designated deep threat, I don’t think it’s accurate to say that anyone will ‘replace’ Moss. What I think the Patriots will do is go back to their early-decade offense — you can already see that with all of the multi-tight end sets they are running,” Tanier said. “I think there’s going to be a much greater emphasis on ball control, and that will serve them better against opponents like the Jets, Ravens, and Steelers in the AFC.
“That being said, I think they will struggle to take the lid off opposing defenses.”
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