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A little over two years ago, the Red Sox traded a certain malcontent superstar during the season. They did not receive equal value.
Unless this new third round pick is turned into a player like Vincent Jackson, it’s likely that the Patriots’ dealing of Randy Moss to the Vikings will be perceived as one-sided. After all, Moss was the best receiver of his generation, and will likely go down as the next best of all time after Jerry Rice. As much as it hurts to lose a Hall-of-Famer, there must have been some good reasons behind the trade.
Moss had been outspoken about his contract status limbo, but at age 34, the Patriots were likely not going to pay him the $10 million per year he was asking for. Plus, the 2011 season is likely going to be locked out, which mean Moss wouldn’t even be able to step on the field again after this season until he was 36. Will he still be playing at a high level then? It’s possible, but not worth investing $10 million per year. He had also apparently clashed with coach Bill O’Brien during the recent Dolphins game.
What the trade unfortunately does is eliminate the greatest deep threat the game has ever known from the offense. The Patriots will likely revert to a short passing game, which could be a deadly change of pace for the rest of the NFL. The Patriots won three Superbowls with receivers like Troy Brown and David Givens, smaller players who excelled in offenses more oriented around shorter passes. The 2010 Patriots have far more weapons than those teams, and could benefit from this trade. Julian Edelman will now see much more of the field, and players like Rob Gronkowski and Brandon Tate now have a greater opportunity to produce.
Will this trade be a good thing for the Patriots? It depends, they could potentially deal the 3rd-rounder to the Chargers for Vincent Jackson, a proven deep threat, or simply keep it until the draft. Will Moss torch the Patriots when they play the Vikings later this month? Maybe, but the Patriots should be fine going forward.