With all of the shock and confusion that has been surrounding Randy Moss and his impending trade to the Minnesota Vikings for a third round pick, I think we all need to take a minute and just reflect upon the amazing, although relatively short-lived, career that Randy Moss had with the Patriots.
When Randy first arrived on the scene during the 2007 draft, I'm not many of us knew what to expect. We thought that he would be a good fit, but we weren't sure if he'd be able to put all of his attitude issues behind him. Things got off to a rocky start in the preseason, when he missed time due to a "hamstring" injury. But on opening day 2007, Randy Moss debuted for the Patriots against the New York Jets, and gave us the first glimpse of the dynamic weapon the Patriots would have, with his nine catch, 183 yard, one touchdown game.
2007 was a magical season for the Patriots, and lets face it: it couldn't have happened without Randy Moss, who pulled down 23 of Tom Brady's 50 touchdown passes. Even in 2008, when Brady went down for the year, Moss still managed to be productive; hauling in another 11 touchdowns and passing the 1,000 yard mark yet again. In 2009, Randy Moss continued to play at a high level: coming down with over 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns.
I could look at the 2010 offseason, look at the complaints that Moss made, but I do not feel that they matter. Randy Moss, for the most part, was a good citizen, who tried his tail off, despite what most in the national media would say.
Lets put this in perspective: the Patriots have won in the past without Randy Moss. Hell, all three of their Super Bowls came without Moss. Nonetheless, there's no question that Randy Moss made the Patriots a better team. With his ability to demand attention over the top, the Patriots offense will have to adjust.
As of around 8 PM last night, I do not think any of us thought that Randy Moss had played his last game as a Patriot. I am still shocked. I do not believe 3rd round compensation is sufficient, especially considering that the Patriots likely would have received a 3rd round compensatory selection for him in 2012. For now, however, lets take a moment and reflect on the great career Randy Moss had with the Patriots.