The Boston Herald reported WR Randy Moss and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had exchanged words before. ESPN Boston said Moss had an outburst towards quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien at halftime of the Monday night win over the Miami Dolphins.
Before the season and after the season-opening win against the Cincinnati Bengals, Moss said he believed 2010 would be his last season with the Patriots.
If all these reports are true, then Moss made sure he didn’t finish this season in New England. Dissatisfied over not receiving a new contract before the season, Moss found a way to get out of the Patriots organization and find the riches he wasn’t going to get in New England. Even better for Moss is that he goes to a team that was very close to winning the NFC Championship last year.
Reports are Moss and his representatives will open discussions for a new contract with the Vikings upon arrival in Minnesota.
For the Patriots, it sounds like they had to do this trade or let the situation continue to bubble for the rest of the season. Without financial security, Moss wasn’t going to be happy. And when Moss sours on an organization, it can make the whole team sick.
From the very first time Moss said he felt 2010 would be it for him in a Patriots uniform, he said he understood it was a business.
Well, Moss showed us how business savvy he is. He planted the seed early and fed the seed of discontent regularly until it irritated the Patriots to the point they’d rather part with Moss for far less than Randy’s worth.
Besides the preseason, “I think I’m finished here” comments and the Bengals postgame rant, the Herald reported Moss’ agent called Belichick asking for a trade. The Monday after the season opener, Moss and Belichick spoke, and we were left with the impression that the situation was smoothed out.
Apparently not. If it wasn’t that conversation, at some point this year, Belichick and Moss had some fierce words exchanged. Monday night things reportedly reached a boiling point at halftime. After going the first half without a reception (though a would-be touchdown bounced off Moss’ hands late in the second quarter), Moss blew up at O’Brien.
If money was on Moss’ mind, then his anger at O’Brien was due to his lack of involvement in the offense, costing Randy potential free agent dollars. He needed one more highly productive season to rake in the dough after the season, and the offense was holding Moss back. At 33 years old, this would be Moss’ last lucrative deal, and he had to find a way to capitalize.
Randy’s two options were to make the coaches involve him in the gameplan more or pester the coaching staff enough to send him packing.
Belichick wasn’t going to risk having a distraction in the locker room. He’s familiar with what an unhappy Moss becomes, and he wouldn’t let Randy possibly influence a team that got dramatically younger and impressionable in the offseason.
If that means taking pennies on the dollar, Bill didn’t hesitate because it would be addition by subtraction. The Patriots will be better off without an unhappy Moss. Belichick wasn’t going to wait for Moss to mail it in in the locker room and on the field.
Belichick also has last season’s issue with LB Adalius Thomas fresh in his mind. The Patriots weathered that storm last season. The last thing this team needs is turbulence for a second straight year.
In a polite press release, Belichick said:
"Over the course of the past several months, I have spoken with Randy and his representative about Randy's place on our team and his future in football. Consistent with my dealings with Randy from the day we acquired him through our conversation this morning, it has been honest, thoughtful, and with great mutual respect."
"While I will keep private the details of internal conversations with players and staff, suffice it to say that many things were taken into consideration before making the trade. In this business, there are complex and often difficult decisions, but it is my responsibility to make them based on what I feel is best for our football team, in both the short term and long term."
"I am grateful for the opportunity to have coached Randy Moss and aside from facing him as an opponent, I wish him the very best for the remainder of his Hall of Fame career."
The statement sounds like there’s a lot Bill isn’t telling us. If that’s the case, then there was a lot more to this trade that we won’t know about from Belichick and the Patriots. But it’s clear the reasons behind the decision were too strong to hope and wait through this season.
Printed from Randolph Charlotin's New England Patriots blog at www.randolphc.com.