Brandon Tate and Other Winners and Losers From Randy Moss Trade
Brandon Tate and the New England Patriots find themselves scrambling to react to the sudden departure of Randy Moss Tuesday night.
One day after failing to catch a pass in the Pats' win over the Dolphins Monday night, Moss was shipped to Minnesota for a mere third-round draft pick.
The ramifications of the deal will be felt throughout the NFL, with the Vikings getting significantly better and the Patriots adding another draft pick to build for the future.
Here's a look at six winners and losers in the wake of the Randy Moss trade.
No. 6 Winner: Percy Harvin
Harvin isn't ready to be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL, and with Sidney Rice sidelined and Bernard Berrian struggling, that's exactly what he had become.
Moss' arrival means Harvin can continue to develop—and get healthy—without having too much asked of him.
No. 6 Loser: Wes Welker
Sure, Welker could get even more targets with Moss out of the way, but that doesn't mean he will find success.
Defenses will focus on Welker, who isn't talented enough to carry the load unless he is surrounded by go-to options on the outside.
No. 5 Winner: BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Although he hasn't broken the 100-yard mark yet, Green-Ellis has looked great in the last two weeks with Fred Taylor sidelined by a toe injury.
Now, Green-Ellis could get even more touches as the Patriots look to figure things out in the passing game without Moss.
No. 5 Loser: Sidney Rice
Rice is still on crutches and might not be 100 percent when he manages to return to the field from hip surgery.
Whenever he comes back, Rice could see the deep balls that Brett Favre directed his way last season go to Moss.
There simply might not be enough footballs to go around in Minnesota.
No. 4 Winner: Brandon Tate
In addition to his dazzling kickoff return for a touchdown, Rice caught four passes for 39 yards in the Patriots' blowout win against the Dolphins Monday.
The former North Carolina Tar Heel should benefit more than any other Patriot following Moss' departure.
Tate represents the only remaining deep threat for New England's offense. Aaron Hernandez is now the most important aspect of the passing game, but Tate is a close second.
No. 4 Loser: Bill Belichick
According to an ESPN report, a shouting match at halftime between Moss and Patriots' quarterback coach Bill O'Brien may have accelerated trade talks.
Now, Bill Belichick finds himself with a team devoid of distractions but a bit light on talent at receiver.
If he manages to circle the wagons and make the playoffs with his least experienced team on both sides of the ball, he will certainly live up to his "genius" status.
No. 3 Winner: Brad Childress
What more could Childress possibly ask for in Minnesota?
The embattled head coach has surrounded Brett Favre with weapons and benefited from the willingness of the ownership to spend whatever it takes to win now.
Now, the pressure is on for Childress to produce victories.
No. 3 Loser: Bernard Berrian
Bernard Berrian gets paid a lot of money to do relatively little.
The acquisition of Moss should diminish his role even further, and he is likely to risk being deactivated once Rice returns.
Berrian has caught just five passes for 38 yards this season.
He clearly isn't the big-play threat the Vikings thought he was when they lured him from the Bears in 2008.
No. 2 Winner: Brett Favre
Favre finally got his wish Tuesday, when the Vikings paid a relatively minimal price to bring in a player he has long wanted to play alongside.
With Moss at his disposal down the field, Favre's performance is likely to improve after some early growing pains.
If his production doesn't increase following the addition of Moss, there will be little question that No. 4 is running on empty.
No. 2 Loser: Tom Brady
Brady has always been good enough to make do with whatever options he is given.
Whether it means throwing passes to an ancient Troy Brown or an unspectacular veteran like Jabar Gaffney, Brady has never had a problem putting up great numbers.
But as he gets older and the Patriots' running game continues to be mediocre, the ability to throw to a top-flight No. 1 receiver like Moss would certainly make Brady's life easier.
No. 1 Winner: The Vikings' Organization
The Vikings gave up a third-round pick to get a Hall of Fame receiver who isn't done producing quite yet.
Sure, Moss wore out his welcome in Minnesota and is on the downside of his career. He also wants a new contract, which promises to be an interesting issue to monitor moving forward.
At the same time, the Vikings are built to win this year and need to do whatever it takes to give Brett Favre a chance to prosper.
That's exactly what the Vikings have done.
No. 1 Loser: The Patriots' Organization
New England has stockpiled draft picks and is set in the future.
That could mean sacrificing success this season and possibly even next season.
The Patriots have suddenly entered rebuilding mode, when it looked like retooling mode would have been enough to carry them to success in the AFC.
By refusing to deal with Moss or give into the contract demands of Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins, the Patriots' organization has shown it won't let the inmates run the asylum.
Time will tell if New England's decisions pay off.