With this said by Adam Schefter of ESPN, so ends the saga of Randy Moss with the Patriots. With the news leaked by ESPN's Bill Simmons, confirmed by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer and pondered by every single person on Twitter, this finally winds to a close. It was real. Moss is no longer going to be a Patriot.
Moss has voiced his displeasure with the organization and is getting his way. He publicly stated that he wasn't in the Patriots' long term goals, and by doing so, he broke a top player rule of Bill Belichick's. No one brings an internal problem to the public eye. That means the player's history. Gone. For a third round pick.
Prior to the 2007 season, the Patriots traded a 4th round draft pick to Oakland for Moss. Now, in the middle of the 2010 season, the Patriots are receiving a 3rd round draft pick from Minnesota. The front office believed this to be a fair exchange for the 33 year old Moss and pulled the trigger on the trade.
This season, Moss has been thrown the ball 22 times and has caught 9 of them. One touchdown catch was on a jaw dropping one-handed catch over Darrelle Revis. Another was in nigh quadruple covering (with an additional referee in his path) against the entire Buffalo Bills' secondary. But then there were the drops. Of the eight missed passes against the New York Jets, many hit Moss in the hands, only to have them fall to the ground. There was the tough throw before the half against the Miami Dolphins.
Moss has been catching under 41% of the balls thrown in his direction, a large drop off from the over 64% rate he was catching at this point last year. Last season, at this point, he had the ball thrown at him 45 times and he caught 29 of them. There has to be more than just a "game plan" reason for the lack of production from Moss. Tom Brady doesn't throw to Moss 23 times fewer unless there's a very good reason.
It was said that Moss asked for a trade after the first week. Moss had 5 receptions on 8 throws in week 1 and was a primary target. In week 2, Moss catches 2 of the 10 throws in his direction as the Patriots try and get him involved- or maybe they hope to raise his trade value (not that it worked too well). Weeks 3 and 4, Moss doesn't get thrown to more than 3 times. That's a large drop off. What is seen, is an increased targeting of different players, like Brandon Tate, Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski and, as always, Wes Welker.
The Patriots were preparing for this moment. Moss spread the field while other players built a rapport with Brady. Moss had an early season meeting with Belichick and was most likely informed of his roles in the offense until the trade- by a decoy while the young receivers develop. Well, Belichick has to believe that the players have developed enough that they can continue to produce without Moss because the team has to move on without the former #1 receiver.
Did the Patriots receive fair compensation for Moss? He had 12 games left in a Patriots uniform because barring a sudden change in heart, Moss was going to leave via free agency. With the current uncertainties in the CBA, there's no knowing if the Patriots would receive a compensatory draft pick, or even if there's a season next year. Trading Moss was the only definite way of receiving something in exchange for Moss.
Can the Patriots offense function without Moss? That will be answered after the bye week as this "new" offense will have two weeks to prepare. Moss demanded double coverage and allowed the other receivers to make plays on offense. The team believes that they can continue to make plays on offense without Moss.
Was this a good deal? We'll see. What do you all think?