The Minnesota Vikings drafted Cordarrelle Patterson in the first round with hopes he could revitalize the team's passing game. The rookie will wear No. 84, the same number Randy Moss wore when he took the NFL by storm with the Vikings more than a decade ago—and Moss isn't happy about it.
Moss apparently doesn't appreciate the fact an unproven player like Patterson received his number. Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk passed along comments the former wide receiver made in his new role as a commentator for Fox:
First of all, that’s disrespectful, to give a rookie my number. I don’t really believe in numbers, but I think that from a professional standpoint, I did make that number. And for them to give him that number, he hasn't proven anything yet. But, hey, what can I say, I’m just Randy Moss sitting here in the studio.
The biggest problem is that Moss contradicts himself right away. He calls the act of giving Patterson No. 84 "disrespectful," but then quickly states he doesn't really believe in numbers anyway. If he doesn't truly care, why it would be an issue is unclear.
Beyond that, Patterson has a long way to go before he even belongs in the same conversation as Moss. Patterson is a raw talent with immense upside; Moss is one of the best receivers of his generation with more than 150 NFL touchdowns to his name.
It's going to take a long time before there's any chance Patterson supplants the former superstar as the first No. 84 who comes to mind when people think of the Vikings.
If anything, Moss' comments should serve as motivation for the talented rookie. He can go out on the field and prove his worth. That way, he can let his play do the talking instead of getting in a public debate with Moss.
Ultimately, it's just a number. It doesn't have an impact on how a player performs. In fact, Moss wore multiple numbers throughout his career, and he can't protect them all from getting worn by players for the other franchises he played for.
Thankfully, the season is underway so the focus can remain on the field for Patterson and Co.