"There is no bad blood. There is no animosity on my side or their side," Moss said. "I think it’s just the nature of the business of the NFL. You know the Patriots don’t really pay, so when I got my second contract from them, that was a blessing in disguise. I understand the business. I don’t think they’re going to re-sign me back. I’m not mad. I’m not bitter. It’s just the way things are in the NFL, so like I said, after this year, I’ll be looking for a new team."
They basically gave Moss, who had accepted a pay cut when he was first traded to New England, franchise-receiver money over a three-year period, $27 million total. Over half of the contract ($15 million) was guaranteed. In terms of base salary, he'll be the highest-paid player on the team in 2010.
Ask the Patriots about spending money and they'll be quick to point out that over the past five years they've spent as much as anyone. They'll tell you they've spent $540 million in salaries and bonuses since 2005, right in step with rivals like the Jets ($542 million) and Colts ($546 million). It is no doubt an accurate stat. They'll also tell you that they always have, and always will, spend to the cap. And that, too, is technically true.
As for the Patriots’ spending habits, let’s set the record straight right here:
They aren't cheap. Regardless of what the footy-pajama crowd believes, I've never said they were.
But they are businessmen. And, in my opinion, they've let business get in the way of football a few too many times in recent years –- and it's cost them, not just in the hearts and minds of their players, but, more importantly, on the field.
I know many of you disagree with me, and we could argue this until we're blue in the face. But this isn't about your opinion, or mine. It's not about what the Patriots want us to believe. Again, it's not about Moss.
This is about how the players feel. On that front there can be no argument.
Chris Gasper gets Rodney Harrison's thoughts on the Patriots, the leadership void and Belichick's decision not to name a defensive coordinator.
"To me it's a little surprising that he wouldn't go with a defensive coordinator because he has so many responsibilities," said Harrison. "But I mean that just shows you right there that he is not very satisfied in the direction that the defense had been going. He wanted to be more involved."Nothing really surprises me with Bill. There is a method behind his madness we just have to wait and see.""I think it can cause a little confusion, but Belichick he is going to nip it in the bud. He is going to tell the fellas exactly the way the structure is going to be set and they'll go with it.""Obviously, it is when you lose over 50 years of experience on defense of course there is an impact. You have to understand championships aren't won because guys are just great players. It's because they know how to deal with certain situations. They know how to deal with adversity. They know how to deal with success and that comes through leadership."I would be really foolish to sit here and tell you they're not missing that type of leadership. ...You watch them, the way they play, and they're a young team and they need leadership."
- Andy Hart and Paul Perillo debate which player they want to see the Patriots re-sign, beyond Vince Wilfork. Hart wants Leigh Bodden and Perillo says Tully Banta-Cain.
- Albert Breer looks at the Patriots receiver situation.
- Karen Guregian catches up with Deion Branch discussing his knee injury and recovery and comparing it to what Wes Welker will have to go through.
- Jim Donaldson hopes the Patriots aren't desperate enough to deal for Deion Branch.
- Mike Reiss explains why Randy Moss isn't a top priority for the Pats. Wilfork, Brady and Mankins are ahead of him on the contract extension list.
- Chris Gasper says making a decision on Moss will be a tough call for the Patriots.
- Karen Guregian reports Randy Moss averaged 15.2 yards per catch on 83 receptions and tied Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald and 49ers' Vernon Davis for the NFL lead in TD receptions with 13 despite playing through a separated shoulder suffered against the Broncos.
- Mike Reiss sees Gary Guyton still following Tedy Bruschi's lead to reach for the highest standards. Nice article on Guyton with Bruschi's inside perspective.
- Mike Reiss notes Tedy Bruschi thinks that with the presence of Jerod Mayo, Gary Guyton and Tyrone McKenzie, he doesn't believe the Pats' priority will be in using a draft pick or adding a free agent at ILB.
- Albert Breer notes one scout sees New England's Brandon Meriweather as the best safety in the AFC East.
- Mike Reiss offers some Quick-hit thoughts around the NFL and with the Patriots.
- Albert Breer reports that while Julius Peppers has the talent, he doesn't have the necessary "effort or the want to" to consistently be the type of player the Patriots need.
- Tom E. Curran reiterates why he thinks New England should hold the Peppers and steer clear of this guy.
- Jeff Howe feels the Patriots got the job done in the 2008 Draft with the Jerod Mayo pick.
- Mike Reiss reports Leigh Bodden has re-hired his former agent Alvin Keels.
- Mike Reiss feels if the Patriots select DE/OLB Brandon Graham (Michigan) in the first round as many mock drafts predict, it would signal a change in their draft philosophy.
- Evan Brunell profiles some potential Patriots' Draft options.
- Ian Rapoport reports that the NFL says NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith was wrong when he accused the league’s owners of planning for a lockout in 2011.
- Eric Edholm (Pro Football Weekly) The Patriots are expected to desgnate NT Vince Wilfork as their franchise player, but it's not going to make Wilfork a happy man unless he can work out a long-term deal thereafter.
- Don Banks (SI) As lockout looms, NFL teams grappling with D-Day planning.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB: Observations on NFL Combine, Troy vincent, free-agent WRs and more.
- Mike Mayock (NFL.com) Scouting Combine 2010: What goes on at the Combine.
- Dan Pompei (NBC Sports) Titans, Patriots, Steelers sweating free agency.
- Matt Williamson, Scouts Inc. (ESPN) Parsing the AFC East's tight ends.
- Jason La Canfora (NFL.com) Among franchise tag options, defenders reign supreme.
- Andy Benoit (NY Times) NFL will be playing tag on Thursday.
- Teams shouldn't be too quick to sign Peppers to blockbuster deal. (SI)
- Mike Berardino (Sun Sentinal) Miami Dolphins linebacker Jason Taylor undergoes shoulder surgery.
- Mark Maske (Washington Post) NFL considers rules changes to combat concussions.
- JJ Cooper (NFL Fanhouse) Will lack of CBA lead to restricted free agent free-for-all or will 2010 mark the return of the 'poison pill'.
- NFLLabor.com provides a complete list of the 2010 class of unrestricted free agents.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) AFC East mailbag.