FOXSports.com's Jay Glazer is reporting that the New England Patriots are in serious discussions with the Minnesota Vikings involving a trade that would send Randy Moss back to the team that drafted him.
The Patriots currently are tied for first in their division so it makes sense to wonder why the Pats would consider sending the highly talented Moss to the Vikings. Moss has made it known that he is unhappy with his contract and that he wants to sign a long-term extension with New England.
It doesn't appear that New England wants to pony up the dough for Moss; at least not until the season's over.
Moss didn't record a catch in the team's win over the Miami Dolphins Monday night and a day later it's being reported that the Pats are looking to trade him. It makes one wonder what happened behind closed doors after the game.
In my opinion it would be a huge mistake for New England to ship moss to Minnesota and here's why.
Why trade a guy that by just having him on the field has defenses stretching themselves out in order to protect against the deep ball. Moss isn't as fast he used to be and his prime is clearly over.
But opposing teams have to respect his ability to go long, which opens up underneath routes that Wes Welker has made a living off of.
Without Moss, can Welker be as effective?
I highly doubt it. Moss' production is down this season but some of that is due to the coverage he sees and the fact that Tom Brady seems to be allergic to throwing the ball more than 10 yards.
It will be interesting to see if those underneath routes are still there if Moss is jettisoned to the Vikings.
If the Patriots make this foolish trade it would make sense that the Vikings would ship a wide receiver to New England along with draft picks. Bernard Berrian seems like a logical choice as he has yet to find any chemistry with Brett Favre.
Maybe Bill Belichick feels that Berrian can bloom under his tutelage and with a new quarterback tossing the ball to him. But let's be clear: Berrian doesn't equal Moss or even come close to him on a talent level.
That means draft picks will be brought into the equation to balance the trade. How high of a draft pick does a 33-year-old past his prime receiver garner these days?
If Berrian is in the deal it would be surprising to see the Vikings give up a first round pick, but don't count out how desperate Minnesota is to win the Super Bowl in Favre's final season.
Even if the Vikings are willing to give up a first round pick and Berrian it isn't worth the risk of possibly throwing away a chance at a Super Bowl.
If Brady has signed off on trading Moss he's out of his mind. Through the first four games of the season the Patriots seem more content with using Moss as a decoy than getting him the ball. They may even think that they don't need him any more and that a variety of guys can step up to fill his shoes.
When Brady had his historic season in '07 it was Moss catching the majority of his touchdown passes. Take Moss out of the Pats lineup in '07 and Brady wouldn't have come close to the numbers he put up. Yes, Moss wouldn't have been able to break Jerry Rice's TD record that year if he didn't have Brady throwing to him either.
But it's a lot easier to find a QB in the NFL that can chuck the ball 50 yards down the field than it is to find a receiver that has the combination of size, hands, and speed that Moss presents.
Monday night's game was the exception for the Pats defense and not the rule. They held Miami to 14 points a week after giving up 30 to the offensively challenged Buffalo Bills.
New England is going to have to continually outscore teams to win ball games. Trading Moss doesn't exactly improve the Pats chances of putting more points on the board.
No matter how the Patriots' front office tries to spin this there is no way trading Moss makes the 2010 Patriots a better team.
Rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez leads New England in receiving yards followed by Welker and than Moss. Second-year receiver Brandon Tate has emerged as a threat returning kickoffs, but it's highly unlikely he would be able to step in and produce consistently.
Welker remains Brady's No. 1 target, although he doesn't have the ability to stretch the field like Moss.
Simply put, the Patriots don't have very good depth at the receiver position and losing Moss would only make matters worse. Julian Edelman is a carbon copy of Welker leaving Brady with nobody to stretch the field.
If New England pulls the trigger on this trade it will kill their chances at a Super Bowl this season. They wouldn't have the offensive weapons to score on good defenses such as Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and New York.
Bottom line: trading Moss means the Pats are looking past this season and trying to expand their closing window.