NFL Trade Rumors: Can New England Patriots Replace Randy Moss?

Bob BajekAnalyst IIIOctober 6, 2010

Vincent Jackson is rumored to possibly be traded to the New England Patriots.
Vincent Jackson is rumored to possibly be traded to the New England Patriots.Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Now that Randy Moss has left the New England Patriots and resumed his career with the Minnesota Vikings, the Patriots have a hole. 

New England is not getting a player or two in return for Moss, who was traded for Minnesota's third round pick in 2011.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick did not want Moss around either because of fallen production or his outspokenness with the media.

Whatever the reason, New England is lacking a true No. 1 receiver. Wes Welker is a great possession wide out, but he doesn't create the vertical element that Moss brings. Rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez will also be a possession receiver. Brandon Tate is a second-year player, but he lacks Moss' experience to beat out tough coverage schemes defensive backs will throw at him. 

There must be something up Belichick's sleeve. If he wants his team to overcome the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins in the AFC East, obtaining a top receiver would be ideal. 

Here are some receivers who might be able to fill Moss' void: 

Vincent Jackson

The San Diego Chargers top receiver has been inactive so far in 2010 because of violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. The Chargers suspended Jackson for getting a second DUI. He will miss four games if traded and six games if he is not. 

Jackson, 27, has six years of league experience. The Chargers attempted to trade him to the Vikings last month, but the trade fell through. 

The 6'5", 230 lb. Jackson is a big threat receiver. He has 2,265 yards and 16 TDs the last two seasons. 

San Diego probably does not want him anymore, so the Patriots could snatch him up with their stockpiled draft picks. 

Steve Smith 

The 5'9", 185 lb. Smith has always been a spark plug to the Carolina Panthers offense. Smith has 8,504 yards and 52 TDs in his career. 

Carolina might be moving Smith to built for the future. They are 0-4 and lost key talent like Julius Peppers and Jake Delhomme to free agency. QB Jimmy Clausen is also learning the ropes as a starter. 

Smith, 31, is signed through 2012 and has remained productive. The Panthers might decline a trade offer if they feel Smith can help in Clausen's development. 

Donte' Stallworth

The Baltimore Ravens receiver is injured, suffering from a broken foot and will not suit up until Week 8. However, this is the final year of Stallworth's contract. T.J. Houshmandzadeh has taken over Stallworth's role, so he might just be a role player on offense. 

In his career, the 29-year-old Stallworth has 4,383 yards and 32 TDs. He comes with a locker room risk, though, as the Cleveland Browns suspended him without pay in 2009. 

If healthy, Stallworth would bring speed and experience.