Randy Moss: Why the New England Patriots Need To Negotiate
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Randy Moss expressed his unhappiness about his current contract situation with CBSSports.com on Monday. In his defense, I think he handle it pretty professionally by saying the following.
"When you have done so much and put so much work in, it kind of feels like I am not wanted. I am taking that in stride and playing my final year out and whatever the future holds is what it holds, but it is kind of a bad feeling. It is not like my production has gone down. I am speaking from an individual standpoint. I don't know about Tom (Brady) or whoever else's contract."
I understand that it is more important to get the Brady deal worked out, but Moss makes it sound like they aren't even willing to talk about any sort of extension.
I also understand that Moss, at age 33, isn't going to warrant a long-term deal. However, if you offered Moss a two-year extension with a possible team option for a third year base on production, he would only be at the age of 36 by the end of the contract.
Moss is one of the greatest receivers the NFL has ever seen, so I will use the greatest NFL wide receiver for comparison, Jerry Rice. From ages 33-36 Rice had three 1,000 yard-plus seasons and 33 touchdowns—one of those years Rice only played in two games due to an injury.
The Hoodie Sings His Praise
Head coach Bill Belichick who seems to rarely have anything wonderful to say about anything had uplifting words to say about Moss.
I know Belichick is smart enough to avoid saying anything that might discourage his best offensive weapon from going into the tank this season. Everything he said in the following quote seems genuine and true.
"I'd just say, on Randy, he's professional and had a good training camp. He's played very well since he's been here. He's played at a very high level. I hope that continues. He's brought a lot of passion for the game since he's been here."
Belichick may have issues with Moss that are personal, but acknowledges the fact that he's been a quality guy since joining the Patriots.
QBs Owe Him Money
The second year Moss was in New England, Brady went down with a season ending knee injury. Backup Matt Cassel filled in for Brady and led the Pats to an 11-5 record.
I believe that success is in large part to Moss and Wes Welker. Cassel signed a huge deal with the Kansas City Chiefs and, without Moss and Welker, his touchdowns went down and his interceptions went up.
In two seasons with Moss, Brady has set personal bests in passing yards and touchdowns thrown in a season.
Is it a coincidence that these two things happened? I don't think so.
The Overall Picture
They haven't won a Super Bowl with Moss, but I don't think in any way you can attribute that to him. I think people forget that the three championships that were won, were won by a Patriots team that had a very strong defense. The faces of that defense have moved on and have been replaced by many question marks.
Brady has become a top statistical QB since Moss joined the team. Cassel became a top paid QB in the NFL after playing one season with Moss.
Welker is coming off a very serious knee injury and no one knows whether or not he will ever be the same dynamic weapon he was before. If they don't have Moss in the fold next season, I think it would allow for more focus on Welker and less space for him to operate.
Who would they get to fill the void left by a player as talented as Moss? I can only think of three guys I'd rather have than Moss: Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, and Calvin Johnson—none of which are available to my knowledge.
The point is that the guy hasn't caused an overwhelming amount of problems—anyone great usually comes with some baggage. Moss's skills have shown no signs of diminishing and this has become a passing league. Play-making WRs are more valuable than ever.
I don't like to disagree with an organization that has had this much recent success, but if they don't at least try to sign Moss for a couple more years I think this would be a foolish move on the organizations part.
Read where I believe the Patriots will finish in the AFC East
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