From the very point Randy Moss landed in Minnesota, the numbers were disappointing. The Patriots rode high and became the unpredictable system that saw them to three Super Bowls and the last modern day dynasty...or at least a decent enough clone that saw them as favourites for a fourth just a few short months ago.
This season, Moss played as many games for New England as he did in Minnesota. In Minnesota, he was used a little more but his mind was still in New England, and it got him ultimately put in the Tennessee Titans organization, where he played eight games and nabbed three less receptions than he had with the Patriots in the four games he played. He didn't even score a TD with the Titans!
With his mind and body in New England for his return in a Halloween clash with his former mates, four weeks after the trade, he expressed how much he missed the team. This was following the game, a 28-18 loss to the Pats, and his finishing with one reception for eight yards.
"The captains, [Vince] Wilfork, Tommy Boy [Brady], [Jerod] Mayo, Kevin Faulk ... I miss those guys," Moss said.
"I miss the hell out of them—every last helmet in that locker room."
He went on in a rant that day, not giving reporters a chance to ask a question, claiming at that point not to be doing interviews for the rest of the season and when prompted for an interview, that he would be the interviewee as well as the interviewer.
Who has the best chance of playing for New England next season?
He finished that rant with, "I don’t know how many more times I am going to be up here in New England, but I am going to leave the New England Patriots and Coach Belichick here with a salute. I love you guys. I miss you. I’m out."
Those sentiments have not changed. In an interview last Wednesday with KFAN 1130 in Minneapolis, Moss flat out professed his love for the team that turned a mediocre player in Oakland into the biggest threat in the NFL in 2007 when he grabbed an NFL-record 23 TDs.
“If you ask me where my heart and where I’m happy is,” Moss said, “I love Tom Brady and I love playing for Coach Belichick.”
That being said, there are tons of free agents out there this year including former Pat Donte' Stallworth, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Terrell Owens and possibly Chad Ochocinco, the latter two arguably being as reputable as Moss himself. Ochocinco may need to give up on keeping in shape with the MLS' Kansas City franchise, but that shouldn't be a problem if he is offered a lucrative contract.
The Pats, however, may not need a deep threat as the wideout corps they have now seems to be more handy with shorter, more precise plays that drain the clock and put up plenty of points in the process, as evidenced in the games following their 34-14 loss to Cleveland on Nov. 7.
Wes Welker, Julian Edelman and Brandon Tate are all smaller bodies and don't strike fear into the hearts of defenders in terms of deep threats. I mean, Deion Branch has made up for the loss of Moss, but is that enough?
Should this team go for some of the guys listed above? Do you see Owens or Ochocinco wearing a Patriot jersey in 2011? How about Houshmandzadeh?
Post a comment, what do you think?